I recently developed slight lower back pain. It only happens in the mornings right after I wake up, regardless of my prior day's workout type or lack thereof.
It's just a dull pain, and goes away within a few minutes after stretching and waking up. It feels like it is in the back joints. Although it's not strong pain or debilitating in any way, it's a new phenomenon for me and I'd like to eliminate it.
Is there anything beyond fixing posture and trying out an anti-inflammatory diet I should try? I'll eliminate nightshades for a few weeks to see if that has an impact - something I was planning to test out anyway. I haven't done much milk products in years, none in the last month. I re-introduced sweet potatoes and white rice to my diet recently, which might coincide with the pain, but it looks like they should not be a cause.
Update: I sleep on my stomach, and I tried sleeping on my back based on the recommendations here. It made a huge difference, practically no pain in the morning! I'll continue to investigate dietary and posture improvements, though.
Update 2 one year later: Wow, 14k views. Here update, hope this helps others. My lower back pain is gone. I've made several changes; below a list in highly subjective ranked list of steps I've taken
I have similar issues.
I agree with the other answer re sleep position. I saw a chiropractor about my pain and he suggests such issues often arise from "front sleepers"...are you one? Side and back sleepers tend to have less issues. The pillow between the knees can help you to stay on your side and not roll onto your front during the night.
Chiro can also help with any neck or back alignment issues. I sit a lot (office/car) and quite a bit of realignment was necessary for me over a number of weeks. Now much better and although I did think chiro's were "quacks" before I went, I am now convinced.
As an aside I also have a degenerative problem with a disc in my lower back that sleep position and realignment can do less about. Advice there is to build strong core muscles...and I'm hoping that my Paleo diet will also help in general with connective tissue problems, as seems to be evidenced by many Paleos. I really hope you don't have something similar. Again, the chiro (together with video x-rays) helped my identify the issue here. Seems to be largely age related..of course I'm not going to ask your age (would be rude!)...but I am mid-40's and it's just the last year or so it's struck me...
Hamstrings, hamstrings, hamstrings
I had similar experiences throughout my life, especially working a sedentary job and having to remain seated for a long period of time.
I found my hamstrings were very tight from all this sitting, and by doing things such as stretching, toe touches, and making sure I can lock my knees and touch my toes. Once I greatly improved my hamstrings flexibility, my early morning low back pain went away.
After you try all of these comments and still have back pain, you definitely want to get X-rays or an MRI to determine if it is mechanical. If nothing shows up, it could very well be an inflammatory/rheumatic condition. I have ankylosing spondylitis, and it causes mild to severe pain anywhere along the spine. It can definitely be improved with a strict autoimmune paleo protocol (no nuts, nightshades, egg whites, starch, dairy, etc.) and supplements such as fish oil, turmeric, and a milder drug called LDN (do NOT take Humira or NSAIDs - destroyed my intestinal lining!). Other signs (varies in spondy patients) - gastric reflux? digestive issues? fatigue? eye pain or blurring around edges? feet/heel pain? pain better after stretching or rising? http://www.spondylitis.org/
I like to advocate for this condition because many people go 5-10 years without knowing what is causing their pain. I just told a friend about this condition, and she went straight to a rheumatologist after getting the run around for over a year, and she had a confirmed case. It's important to get diagnosed so you know how to treat it correctly. Otherwise, the inflammation can lead to permanent damage if you leave it unchecked!
There is a lot of back pain info in this blog I wrote. I do a lot of this for my spine patients. Iodine, DHA, Cu, Zn, Mg, Fe are massively important for LBP
I know that one thing physical therapists recommend is to sleep with a small pillow between your legs. It helps keep your pelvis and hips in alignment and can really help morning pain. It can be a bother to keep setting it up again after you roll over, so they actually sell pillows with a velcro strap to wrap around your legs. I know lots of people that swear by this.
One thing I have found to help with my pain is to stand at my desk. A lot of days I go from sleeping straight to sitting at my desk. Standing allows the muscles in my back to relax, whether at my desk or at the stove. It helps my knees too.
Acupuncture worked better for me than anything, even after trying all kinds of sleeping positions, stretches, physical therapists, and buying a Tempur-Pedic Cloud (which is all kinds of amazing now that I can fully appreciate it after getting this sorted haha).
i used to wake up with really bad back pain too. eliminating nightshades is a start but eliminating rice and all grains is a good idea. when i cut out those stuff i felt much better. sometimes the lectin in grains end up passing ur intestinal wall and into ur blood. if they end up at ur joints then is joint pain.
the other thing that helped alot for me is not sleeping on a soft bed. in my opinion and personal experience, soft beds might not work for some people. our spine developed through evolution without anywhere too soft to sleep on (i'm guessing some hay and leaves and animal skin at best) and so it's safe to assume that when we lay down we r supposed to lay on a semi-hard surface. the tumperpedic (spelling) bed people say that their (soft) beds retain the spine's natural curve and angles while u sleep - the natural curve and angles that ur spine has when standing. but when we r standing, gravity pulls down toward our feet, so every single joint in the spine is stacked on top of each other for support. when we lay down, gravity pulls outward from our back away from the spine/joints. if the bed is too soft and the joints aren't supported by stacking on each other like while standing, then the joints can be pulled ever slightly apart during the night. after i switched to a hard bed, my back joints were completely pain/tightness free. a hard bed would still give ur lower spine a bit of natural curve while sleeping because it's like a bridge built on hard surface where each end of the bridge (lower spine) is supported and so the curve (lower back joints) is supported.
I had the same issue in the past, and it came back just a few weeks ago.
The ideal sleep position for this kind of pain is to sleep on your back, with a big pillow, or a towel and a pillow underneath your knees, in a way to keep your legs bent and reduce the load on your lower back.
Most likely sleeping is making your pain worse, but it isn't the real cause.
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