Why Does My Back Hurt After Sleeping at Night?

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If you experience back in the morning after getting out of bed, you might be wondering what causes it. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), four in five Americans will develop back pain during their lifetime. While most people experience back pain during the midday hours, however, some experience it in the morning.

It’s disheartening when you experience back pain immediately after getting out of bed in the morning. Even if the pain is mild, it can still disrupt your daily activities while lowering your quality of life in the process. You’ll struggle to get going in the morning, using extra caution to avoid irritating or further worsening your back pain. In some cases, severe back pain could prevent from working or running errands. To prevent problems such as these, you must investigate your condition to determine the cause of your morning back pain.


Sleeping on Your Stomach

If you sleep on your stomach, meaning your head is face down in the pillow, you could experience back pain the following morning. While sleeping on your stomach reduces the risk of snoring, it increases the risk of back pain. When you sleep on your stomach, you’ll force your spine to bend at an unnatural angle. And considering that the average adult sleeps for about seven hours a night, this means your spine will remain in an unnatural position for a long period of time. Rather than sleeping on your stomach, position yourself to sleep on your side. Whether it’s your right or left, sleeping on your side will retain your spine’s natural posture to minimize the risk of back pain and other associated back problems.


Sleeping on an Old Mattress

How old is your mattress? If you’ve had it for 10 years or longer, you should probably bite the bullet and replace it. Over time, mattresses lose their ability to provide a firm and supporting surface on which to sleep, resulting in an increased risk of back pain. According to a report published by The Sleep Advisor, research shows that 56% of people who sleep on medium- to high-firmness mattresses experience less back pain in the morning than people who sleep on soft mattresses with minimal firmness.


Sitting Too Long During the Day

Your early morning back pain could even be caused by prolonged sitting from the previous day. Millions of Americans work desk jobs requiring them to sit in front of a computer for up to eight hours a day. All that sitting is taxing on your spine, triggering inflammation in your back. As a result, you may wake in the morning with back pain. If you believe that midday sitting is causing your back pain in the morning, try to spend more time standing and walking around during the daytime hours. Some people use standing desks that allow them to work in front of a computer or desk while standing. Even if you don’t use a standing desk, you can stay active by taking breaks to walk and move around. Incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine will make a world of difference in your physical health, with reduced back pain being just one of many benefits you’ll likely notice.




If you are overweight, you could experience back pain in the morning. Being overweight — even by just 10 pounds — places additional pressure on your joints and spine. While the symptoms typically manifest during the day, they could also manifest in the morning after you’ve been sleeping. As you sleep, the increased weight your body is carrying will stress your joints and spine. And when you roll out of bed, you could feel these symptoms in the form of back pain.

While roughly half of the U.S. population wants to lose weight, though, many are unsuccessful. If this sounds familiar, consider the following tips to get your weight back on track:

  • Choose complex carbs rather than simple carbs.
  • Drink water instead of soda.
  • Perform more aerobic or cardio exercise.
  • Avoid all foods and beverages containing trans fat.
  • Limit your consumption of saturated fat.
  • Cut back on processed sugars.


Herniated Disc

A herniated disc can cause early morning back pain. Also known as slipped disc, a herniated disc is a condition in which the soft nucleus material within an intervertebral disc pushes out through a crack, rupture or other breach in the disc’s hard outer shell. The average person has 24 intervertebral discs, all of which are designed to absorb shock. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one or more intervertebral discs to rupture. When an intervertebral disc ruptures, the inner nucleus material can leak out in a condition known as a herniated disc.


Don’t let back pain prevent you from enjoying life. Contact us today to learn more about our chiropractic, massage therapy and other services that can help alleviate back pain.

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