We all know that sleep is vital for your body. This is when you “re-stock the shelves”, replenish your stores and repair the wear & tear from your day. If you’re waking up with low-back stiffness, the chances are you’re not getting the most from this precious sleep. Waking up with this type of back stiffness in the morning is almost certainly something you’ve experienced. It may also have happened when you’ve had no low-back issues in the past. By now, you may just accept your back stiffness is something you just have to deal with each day.
Does your low-back feel stiff and mildly painful when you are bending forward just after you have woken up? Is getting out of bed a bit of a creaking episode? Do you feel way older than you are? Does it hurt to lean forward to shave or to clean your teeth? How bad is it to pull on your shoes and socks?
And, what you’ll also notice that once you’ve been up and about for a half hour or so that your low-back starts to feel more “normal” again.
You have a very low-grade back injury. Even if you haven’t fallen off your bike recently, your back may still have been “insulted” a bit. This is the micro-injury caused by being upright or at work. Typically, it’ll be as a result of poor posture or as a result of sitting at a computer for hours. Yes, it may also be caused by an overly ambitious session of cleaning or starting a new exercise program. And you may have had a back injury in the past that never really healed and has never been quite the same since. In all these cases, you can still do something now to help, no matter how long you’ve had low-back stiffness. This is usually quite easily.
As an example, you will have met this happening elsewhere in your body. Following exercise, most of us have gone to bed with their legs feeling fine and then in the morning have been nearly unable to move. This has nothing to do with your sleeping posture or your bed. It’s all to do with the exercise you did the day before. The micro-injury has to heal and your immune system whirs up to do the repair. This makes the leg muscles feel painful and stiff. Exactly the same process is happening in your low-back. The reason it feels better after a short while is because the by-products of the immune system repair response are squashed out of the muscle tissue and things, as a result, feel calmer.
If you do have morning back stiffness, ask yourself this:
“Compared to a year ago, does my back feel better, worse or about the same?”
If your low-back stiffness is the same or worse than a year ago (or even a month or two ago), that’s a good indication you should get yourself checked out. All of the main causes of low-back pain have very real, very helpful, non-surgical treatments. Here is a link to our blog page on low-back pain that might be helpful. And, we help patients work through these problems and get back to their active lives every day.
If you’d like to get back to the active, vibrant life you once had, don’t wait — click here to schedule an appointment with us today! And the sooner you get started, the sooner you can start feeling and functioning better!
I’ll also add another blog very soon about what you can do to help…..exciting eh?