Ever get out of bed and your back is already sore and stiff? Or you have to struggle to straighten up after getting out of bed, and can barely bend over? This isn’t how you want to start the day.
If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone.
The time you are most susceptible to back pain and to hurting your low back is first thing in the morning.
As a chiropractor, I hear all the time about how someone bent over to put on their socks or shoes and their back went out, or they were bending over shaving and their back went out. If you want to avoid this, here’s an article on the best way to bend without hurting your back.
The other time people hurt their back is very first thing in the morning, when you’re getting out of bed, and your back is at it’s stiffest.
Why does this happen?
When you sleep, the disc pressure in your spine increases (this is why you actually are taller when you first wake up), meaning that you’re more likely to suffer a disc injury (like a disc bulge or disc herniation) first thing in the morning than at any other time. Combine the increased disc pressure, with getting out of bed the wrong way, and problems and pain can happen.
What’s the wrong way to get out of bed?
The worst way to get out of bed is to go from lying down on your back, then springing yourself up to a sitting position by hinging rapidly at your hips.
Sound familiar to anyone?
Why is this so bad?
The problem with this is that especially first thing in the morning, when your low back is at it’s stiffest, and there is increased disc pressure, rapidly flexing your low back to bring you up into a sitting position is one of the worst things you can do.
This rapid flexion, or forward bending of your low back, is one of the most common ways people injure their low back, and should definitely be avoided first thing in the morning.
What’s a better way to get out of bed in the morning that won’t cause back pain?
A better way would be to get up from your side:
1. Roll onto your side.
2. Swing your legs gently off the side of the bed
3. Push yourself up to sitting with your arms against the bed, while letting your legs rotate towards the floor.
4. Once in the sitting position in bed, slowly get up by pushing up with your legs.
This way of getting up is much more gentle on your spine, and much less likely to cause damage to your back and cause back pain.
This is good not just first thing in the morning, but any time you’re getting up from a lying position.
Any questions, or if you have lingering or chronic back problems or pain, please feel free to contact us at our chiropractic clinic in Toronto.
All the best, Dr. Byron Mackay