5 Reasons Why Your Back Hurts In The Morning

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Back Pain in the Morning

It’s great to wake up feeling refreshed after a restful night of sleep, but not everyone wakes up pain-free. Some people experience spine pain first thing in the morning, and they often ask me what’s causing this early morning pain. Today, we share five reasons why you might be experiencing spine pain in the morning.

Poor Sleeping Posture

Sometimes back pain is simply the result of an awkward sleeping position. When you lay down, find a comfortable position and place a pillow under your head and neck so that it remains in alignment with your spine. If your pillow height is too low or too high, the cervical portion of your spine can strain overnight. Some people also find back pain relief by putting a small pillow between their knees while they sleep on their side, as this can help keep the spine in alignment as you sleep.

Pain From Inflammation/Bone Spurs

Some back pain, like that caused by inflammation or bone spurs, is the result of objects rubbing against spinal structures. When you’re sleeping, bone spurs aren’t damaging nearby structures. However, your muscles and ligaments go from a relaxed, dormant state to an active state upon getting out of bed, and nearby structures can be affected with movement. This can be combated with a targeted physical therapy routine.


Individuals with fibromyalgia oftentimes experience morning back pain because their painful condition prevents them from getting continuous restful sleep. This fatigue can make pain worse and is felt most acutely in the morning when you’re still really tired. Although fibromyalgia affects the whole body, symptoms are more common in the back and spinal structures.

Strained Upon Awakening

You wouldn’t run a marathon without warming up, so don’t just hop out of bed upon waking. Many people wake up, bend at the waist to sit up, then lurch forward with their legs and back to get their feet on the ground. This is a great way to hurt your spine or exacerbate a condition in the morning. When you wake up, roll to your side and push yourself upwards with your arm into a seated position. Then slowly scoot yourself to the edge of the bed and make sure your legs are propelling you up and out of bed and that you’re not hunching forward with your back to do it.

Disc Centered Pain

A final reason why you may be dealing with spine pain in the morning is because their is an issue with one of your discs. Sleep takes the stress of your spine and the disc space between vertebrae expands slightly when it’s not bearing your weight. You probably feel some relief while sleeping but pain sets in as you take your first few steps and your spine deals with the stress of your weight. A spine specialist can figure out exactly what’s going wrong in your discs and come up with a plan to stop this pain from setting in during the morning.

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