Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 30, 2016
One common symptom we hear from patients is that their back pain gets worse throughout the day. This is not that uncommon, and there are a number of different reasons why your spine pain may worsen as the day continues. Today, we take a closer look at why back pain intensifies throughout the day.
Back Pain Worsens Throughout The Day
Sleep is a restorative process that allows our bodies to recover from a long day of stress. When you wake up in the morning, your muscles and ligaments are in a relaxed state, and they ease into working order with our first steps out of bed. Oftentimes people find that back pain lessens throughout the night because the structures in the spine that are causing pain are simply in a dormant state. Once movement starts, pain once again sets in. But why does it seem to get more painful throughout the day?
Depending on your condition, there could be a number of reasons. For example, let’s say you’re dealing with osteophytes (bone spurs) in the spinal column. These little bone fragments cause painful inflammation when they come in contact with nearby structures. Throughout the day, these fragments continue to rub on tissues and nerves, creating more microtrauma and pain. Sometimes, the only reason pain is more intense at the end of the day is because you’ve continued to put more stress on your spine as the day continues.
Other times, it’s the way we conduct our everyday activities that makes back pain worse as the day progresses. Let’s say you’re dealing with mild cervical spine discomfort in your neck. Throughout your day, you do many tasks that unknowingly stress and strain the spine. For example, you probably hunch forward from time to time at your desk, shifting the stress to the cervical portion of your spine, or your routinely look down at your phone to send a text, or you lay on your stomach at home to read a book or play on your iPad. All these activities put your neck out in front of your body, meaning the stress is channeled to your cervical spine and not equally dispersed down your entire spinal column. Spine pain can be worse at the end of the day simply because you had poor posture habits throughout the day that took a toll on your spine.
Lastly, another reason why you may be experiencing more back pain as the day progresses is because your body reaches a hypermobile state throughout the day. As we mentioned in the first paragraph of this section, our muscles begin to shift out of a relaxed state once we take our first few steps out of bed. As the day goes on, more muscles and structures are maneuvered, meaning they are in an active state. Eventually, all the structures in your body are “warmed up” so to speak, giving them a greater range of mobility and flexibility than when they were in a relaxed state. It’s great to be in this hypermobile state prior to exercise or activity, but when structures are more mobile and flexible, they can move and compress nearby structures. Your worsening spine pain throughout the day may be the result of active structures putting pressure on nearby structures.
If your spine pain seems to get worse throughout the day, don’t hesitate to set up a consultation with a back specialist to get to the root of the problem. You don’t need to go another day with worsening back pain.