Suffering through chronic back pain is a problem that can be debilitating from the second you open your eyes. For some, waking up in the morning is an opportunity to face a great new day. But for a growing number of people, awakening just means more pain and suffering are in store. Whether you are someone who experiences intermittent back pain or have to endure it every single day, greeting the day carefully can help to keep it at bay.
The most important thing you can do in the morning, while you’re still lying in bed and before you do any movement, is assess your pain level. Taking a minute to figure out how you feel prior to standing or walking is critical.
“After a long, restful sleep you often find yourself waking up with stiff, tight muscles,” said Livestrong. “This is usually caused by lying in the same position for an extended amount of time.”
Those tight muscles could spell disaster if you rush out of bed, make a wrong step and end up falling, twisting or turning wrong, which can worsen an existing back injury or create a new one.
Have a good idea of what your pain level is? Need to sit with the heating pad or take medication? If you’ve been going through this for a while, everything you need is probably sitting on your nightstand. If you’re new to chronic back pain, taking a few minutes to gather items that can provide you with some comfort within easy reach of your bed can help your morning routine.
Relax and Stretch
Stretching is an undervalued tool for anyone trying to shake off sleepiness and get going.
“There’s a legit reason to hit snooze and stay in bed a bit longer: Stretching there can make mornings less painful by gently waking up your muscles,” said Cosmopolitan.
For those with chronic back pain, stretching in the morning could be crucial to working out any of the kinks that have crept in during the night, getting rid of stiffness, and warming up your body so you don’t further injure anything as you get moving.
“When you wake in the morning after sleeping all night, you may experience some joint stiffness and pain as you try to get out of bed or go downstairs,” said Healthy Living. “Indulging in a good stretch can help alleviate some of that stiffness and may even warm up your muscles and joints enough to prevent the risk of injury to stiff knees, ankles, hips or back.”
Stretching can also “improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of motion in your joints,” said the Mayo Clinic, which could help you alleviate pain or help while you’re recovering after minimally invasive back surgery.
Cosmopolitan lists several great morning stretches to get your body moving and you can also check out these five back pain stretches on WebMD. But remember that if you’re suffering from back pain, you want to consult with your doctor or find the best spine doctor if you don’t yet have one before doing any of them. It could be that one or more of these stretches aren’t right for you or could potentially cause more damage to your back.
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