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The alarm goes off.  It’s time to begin the long process of what we might call “waking up.”  You roll to the edge of the bed.  And that’s where you get the striking reminder:  MORNING BACK PAIN!!  “Why, oh, why does my back hurt so badly in the morning?” you ask yourself.  What type of lower back pain therapy should I seek out?  What about my mid back pain? What about back pain surgery, am I a candidate? It’s time to figure this whole thing out.

There are many questions to ask that can help to identify the exact reason your back is giving you problems in the morning.  The best way to negotiate through the answers is to speak to a healthcare provider; chiropractors are excellent in this aspect.  Chiropractic physicians are experts at asking the right questions and deciphering where the answer should direct the additional questioning.  Some common questions would be:  Where exactly is the pain?  Describe the pain? When is the pain the worst?  What makes the pain worse or better? Does activity make it worse or better?  Does this low morning back pain travel up the spine and causing mid back pain or severe upper back pain?  For the sake of this article we will focus on morning back pain that begins to lessen during the day.

Most often the morning low back pain can be attributed to improper or unhealthy lifestyle habits such as a poorly supporting mattress or overuse of the low back from the previous day.  If the lumbar spine has been allowed to degenerate, then morning low back pain is almost certain. One of the more serious concerns with morning low back pain is the possibility of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).  This is a genetically linked auto-immune disease using presenting in middle-aged young men with sever low back stiffness in the morning.  The morning low back is usually relieved with activity and anti-inflammatory medications.

The best way to decrease low morning back pain is to improve posture and biomechanics.  This means one should optimize how they are using their low back, be conscious of injury prevention, and consistent be in contact with a healthcare professional for any changes to optimal low back wellness.  Chiropractic manipulation is a wonderful lower back pain therapy that allows the spine to maintain its proper motion, thereby diminishing the chances of degeneration.  The least healthy thing for a joint is to stop moving.  This is when degeneration occurs.  With chiropractic adjustment the body can maintain movement at each segment and allow for the spine to withstand everyday life without serious repercussions.

Now, let’s talk about what exactly can be done at home to help decrease, eliminate, or avoid altogether morning low back pain.  Proper stretching before and after activity throughout the day can help lower pain levels.  Avoiding poor posture situations, such as super soft couches or chairs, slumped posture, leg crossing, or hip sinking can also help to eliminate morning back pain and promote healthy functions.  Proper physical activity is another great way of helping low back pain to decrease.  Help the muscles maintain their proper tone by exercising them at a moderately intense activity.  Muscle pain is one of the most common sources of back pain.

Sleeping position is vital to avoiding morning back pain, especially if the spine is already unhealthy.  A healthy spine can endure a lot, but an unhealthy spine cannot.  Side-posture or supine (lying on back face up) positioning are the two best ways to avoid back pain.  Also using a pillow under the knees or between the knees (if on your side) is also helpful to reduce strain on the back while sleeping. One common rule for mattresses:  if the back is unhealthy then the softer the mattress the worse the pain.

Always remember, when it comes to morning back pain it is easier to fix the problem quickly and with less strain on financial resources when it is taken care of early.  If you have back pain please contact your local healthcare provider. The above advice and information is in no way meant to supersede the proper evaluation and guidance from a licensed healthcare provider.