Waking up with pain and soreness is quite common, especially because when we sleep, we maintain relatively similar positions for 6-10 hours with minimal movement. I have heard many patients say that they wake up with low back pain or neck pain in the morning. For some patients, that pain goes away throughout the day. However, other people experience lingering pain that lasts for most of the day. Here are four recommendations for people who wake up in chronic pain.
For most people, I highly suggest getting into a morning exercise routine. Set your alarm for twenty minutes earlier in the morning and commit to performing low back and neck stretches. Though this is easier said than done, if you make this part of your daily routine and it helps take away your pain, then you are not going to want to stop performing these activities. If you have a desk job, performing stretching in the morning allows you to improve your flexibility and posture as you prepare to sit for the majority of the day. On the contrary, if you have job demands such as frequent lifting or repetitive manual tasks, stretching in the morning can help loosen your muscles and improve your mobility.
If you wake up in pain, it may be a good idea to keep a log/journal describing your pain. This can include severity of pain (use a scale from 0-10), description of the pain (sharp, dull, achy), and where exactly your pain is located. If you attend a physical therapy appointment after keeping this journal, it will allow your physical therapist to pinpoint your pain patterns and provide stretches that can help you. Maintain this journal as you perform exercises at home or attend physical therapy so you can track your progress.
Think about what makes your pain better and what makes your pain worse. How can you plan ahead so that pain doesn’t worsen throughout the day? This can include making sure that you are maintaining your posture, committing to performing stretches once per hour, or finding time to fit in a walk or other cardiovascular exercise throughout the day.
Experiencing pain in the morning is no fun, and there is potential for long-term damage to your joints. Physical therapists can help improve your posture, adjust your sleeping positions, provide advice on your ergonomic set up at your workstation, and manage your pain.
Our free assessments are not just for athletes and weekend warriors. We help patients of all ages and activity levels get back to doing the things they love. Start your free assessment today to get back on the road to recovery! Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth service.
Physical therapy is usually the thing you are told to do after medication, x-rays or surgery. The best way to fix your pain is to start where you normally finish – with physical therapy at Athletico.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.