Ever wake up with a stiff or sore low back in the morning, and can barely move? Not how you want to start your day!
One of the most common times to injure your low back, or to experience back pain, is first thing in the morning.
Why is this?
Because as you sleep the pressure in the discs of your spine increases, and this increased pressure makes you more vulnerable to disc injuries like disc bulges or even disc herniations.
What’s the best way to avoid back pain in the morning?
The first thing to understand is that all the research shows that flexion, or forward bending of your low back, is one of the worst things for your low back and especially your lumbar discs.
Trying to avoid this forward bending is critical to preventing back pain, especially in the morning.
What is the biggest cause of chronic flexion or forward bending of the spine?
Try to avoid sitting first thing in the morning for as long as possible.
At least for the first 30-60 minutes of the morning, try to avoid or minimize sitting, until the pressure in your spinal discs start to decrease and normalize.
How to avoid sitting in the morning:
1. Have your shower first thing, which is obviously done standing.
2. Shave, brush your hair, etc…all done standing.
3. Make breakfast…again, done standing.
4. Eat your breakfast WHILE STANDING.
Eating your breakfast while standing can make a huge difference. After having a back injury myself years ago, not sitting down while I eat breakfast made a huge difference. I just eat standing up, and really like it now.
5. Instead of sitting down to check your email, or FB, or to read the paper, DO IT STANDING.
Again, seems like a little thing, but it can make a big difference.
By this point, at least 30-45 minutes should have passed, and you should now be safe to sit down.
If you do have to sit, here’s an article talking about the best ways to sit without back pain. These tips are good for the morning, but especially if you sit at work most of the day.
The other thing to be mindful of is bending down to put on your shoes, or picking things up off the floor, first thing in the morning. This is the other time people can injure their low back.
Be mindful not to bend forward excessively at your waist, which is a common way people hurt their low back first thing in the morning.
Here’s another article on the best way to bend or lift something first thing in the morning.
If you’ve got questions, or have chronic back pain that isn’t going away, please feel free to contact us at our Toronto chiropractic clinic, Transform Chiropractic. Dr. Byron Mackay