Waking Up with a Stiff Back Every Morning?

Back pain is usually the morning alarm for many people, causes them to wake up early due to the discomfort. Morning pain rarely occurs due to a serious problem. There are many causes of back pain that can be treated by yourself if you take some measures on your own. Sometimes, simple things like changing your sleeping patterns can even help treat the cause of pain.

Causes of Morning Stiffness/ Back Pain

Few basic reasons for morning stiffness and pain are:

  1. Awkward sleeping postures
  2. Being over-weight or lack of physical activity
  3. Inflammation due to aging
  4. Inflammatory back pain
  5. Fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome
  6. Osteomalacia/ Vitamin D Deficiency

1) Sleeping Position

The main culprit and the most obvious reason of your morning back pain is most likely an improper sleeping posture. Poor position during sleep can put a pressure on your spine, causing it to flatten. This can cause a strain in the back and put pressure on the joints of the back. The most likely position to cause trouble is sleeping face-down. In a lot of cases, poor quality mattresses also play an important role in messing with the natural curve of our spine.

2) Over-Weight or Lack of Physical Exercise

This one is a no brainer. Having extra weight doesn’t only result in back pain in the morning, it can cause a lot of other health problems including pain in the rest of the joints, especially the knees and ankles, as well as pain in legs and the back during the rest of the day. If you top that with a sedentary life style and no physical exercise, the pain is bound to get worse.

3) Inflammation Due To Aging

Degenerative disk disease occurs naturally as we age. This means that the spinal discs between the vertebras (bones of the spine) begin to wear out as the normal process of aging occurs. This can result in pain and discomfort which might get worse in the mornings as the pressure inside the disc is higher at that time. This is a chronic low-grade inflammation.

4) Inflammatory Back Pain (IBP)

Inflammatory back pain or spondyloarthritis can also be a cause of back pain in the morning. It results in severe pain, but will also have a number of other symptoms. There will be signs of inflammation in other parts of the body, especially tendons (which attach muscles to the bones), eyes, fingers etc.

5) Fibromyalgia

This neurological dysfunction causes widespread musculoskeletal pain. Professionals believe that fibromyalgia increases sensitivity and decreases the pain threshold. These patients tend to sleep less and as a result are fatigued, which triggers more pain.

6) Osteomalacia or Vitamin D Deficiency

The deficiency of Vitamin-D is very common these days. It causes decreased density or softening of bones which results in a condition called Osteomalacia. Few symptoms of this condition are bone and muscle aches throughout the body, fatigue, weakness, more soreness after physical activity and back pain in the morning.


You can use some home remedies like applying ice or warmth to the area of the pain. Warmth helps relax the muscles, while ice helps in numbing and reducing pain. Do not apply both of these together. And if you want to try both, use them at different times of the day. If your back pain is severe, you may visit your doctor.

Sleeping Posture

As far as the sleeping position is concerned, consider starting out as comfortably as you can when you sleep. You can add a little bracing with the pillows to prevent yourself from rolling around too much. Getting a good quality mattress also helps improve your posture and reduces back pain.

Inflammation and Obesity

Moderate exercises and a healthy diet are by far the best medications available to treat most of the problems we face today. Also try quitting any bad habits like smoking or too much alcohol consumption as it increases inflammation in the body and affects the overall health and fitness. Make healthier food choices, drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Even if you don’t want to exercise, incorporate some stretches in your daily routine or a walk around the block at least 3-4 times during the week.


Make sure to avoid anxiety and stress by using positive coping mechanisms and stress-management techniques. Stress can result in disturbed sleep which aggravates any condition that you might already have.