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Morning Back Pain

Nicks J Jun 18, 2019
Morning back pain is regarded as the body's response to inappropriate sleeping posture. However, an oxygen-deprived back can also cause this type of discomfort in the morning.
Getting out of bed in the morning and when one is about to start his daily chores, the person experiences a mild to moderate back pain. While constant back pain has been attributed to herniated disc, what about this backache that is experienced only in the morning. So let's find out the causes for this back problem and its solution.


Poor Sleeping Posture

People sleeping in a bad posture, often complain about backaches when they get up in the morning. A bad sleeping posture can be stressful for the spinal cord, which manifests as back pain in the morning.
A sleeping posture such as lying on the abdomen or sideways may be comfortable initially, but eventually causes backache.
Remember, the back needs support when the body is at rest. This can be achieved by simply lying on the back. Our spinal cord is slightly curved and when one does not sleep on the back, it only makes the spinal cord more curved.
As the spinal cord, extends up to the neck, the curved part can put strain on the neck muscles, leading to neck pain. The habit of sleeping in a bad posture will eventually lead to chronic back pain and cause irreversible structural deformity in the back bone.

Faulty Mattress

In case the mattress or the bed on which the person is sleeping is providing inadequate support to the back, then it can be strenuous for the back muscles and can lead to backache in the morning.


Recurring upper/lower back pain in the morning could be the onset of arthritis. The spine has several bones called vertebrae. Joint is a point of contact between 2 bones. Joints of spine are referred to as facet joints.
At the end of the bones, lies a tough elastic tissue, known as cartilage that does not allow the bones to rub against each other. Spinal arthritis causes destruction of cartilage, leading to inflammation of the joints. Arthritis pain in the back area appear frequently but is generally severe in the morning.

Insufficient Oxygen Supply to the Back Area

Taking rest at night can be relaxing but this posture actually reduces the oxygen supply to the back area, which causes discomfort in the morning. In the daytime, the daily mundane routine ensures adequate oxygen supply to the muscles and the ligaments of the back.
However, at night the resting position reduces blood circulation in the back area. This in turn leads to sharp drop in oxygen supply to the back area, ultimately causing backache in the morning.

Spinal Stenosis

The term 'spinal cord' refers to the collection of nerves that originate from base of the brain and travel in a straight path through back area and terminate at the waist. This bundle of nerve (brain signal carriers) is covered by the hollow bony structure, known as the bone. One can say that these nerves pass through the hollow bones that form the spine.
However, there is a gap between these bundle of nerves and the bones that cover it. This space between the spinal cord and the bony structure that protects it, is known as spinal canal. Now, spinal stenosis occurs when the width of the spinal canal reduces considerably, leading to compression of the nerve and the spine.
The compressed nerve can be a cause of great discomfort, which is usually experienced in the morning. When this condition (spinal stenosis) affects the back area, it causes backaches in the morning.


People who are unable to give up the sleeping posture of lying sideways or on the stomach, need to make slight modifications in their bad posture. People sleeping sideways should lie by holding a pillow in between the legs. This position can certainly help to minimize the intensity of back pain.
For defective mattresses, one can use mattress topper to ensure proper support to the back. Spinal stenosis is generally treated with OTC pain medications and antidepressants.
Right sleeping posture can certainly minimize and even prevent morning back pain. Back problems like spinal stenosis can also cause backaches, hence diagnosing the cause at the earliest and taking appropriate treatment is the key to end this morning discomfort.
Disclaimer: The information provided is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.