Identifying and Treating Morning Back Pain

For most individuals with back pain, they have the most discomfort at the end of the day after their spine has handled the physical stress each day brings. But for a smaller subset of individuals, their pain is heightened in the morning. So what might be the cause of this morning spine pain, and how can it be treated? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.

Morning Back Pain

Here’s what might be going on if you’re experiencing back pain upon waking up in the morning.

1. Bone Spur Formation – Bone spurs on their own aren’t all that painful, but when they irritate nearby structures, pain can develop in a hurry. If you have back pain in the morning, there’s a chance that you have developed some bone spurs in the spinal area. With the first movement of the day, soft tissues near the spur become irritated and inflamed, causing pain or compression. Physical therapy and decompression surgery can help stop bone spurs from wrecking havoc in your spine.

2. Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia is a condition categorized by muscle weakness and tenderness, and these symptoms can be exacerbated if you don’t get restful sleep. If you wake up feeling fatigued and with back tenderness, you may be dealing with fibromyalgia. Luckily, there are a number of treatments that can help with this pain condition, including physical therapy, stretching techniques, exercise, dietary changes and medications. Work with a back specialist to find a treatment that works for you.

3. Osteoarthritis – Spinal osteoarthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage in the joints and discs in the lower back and neck. Since cartilage helps to facilitate movement, the loss of it can lead to painful movements, which can be felt most evidently with our first movements in the morning. Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but symptoms can be treated with physical therapy, dietary charges and some controlled exercise routines.

4. Poor Sleeping Habits – The final cause for spine pain in the morning may have nothing to do with an underlying spinal condition at all, it may be caused by your sleeping habits. If your mattress is unsupportive, or your pillow pushes your neck out of a natural position, back and cervical spine pain can develop. If you haven’t replaced your mattress or pillows in years, consider investing in more supportive options. You spend hours each day in your bed, so make sure it’s protecting your spine!

For more tips, or to talk to a spine specialist about your back problems, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.

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