Many people wake up to back pain every morning. Morning back pain generally wears off in a few minutes but serves as a highly unpleasant introduction to your day.
A number of things can cause stiffness and soreness in your back upon waking. Some common causes are muscle rigidity and joint problems.
Muscles in the Morning
Muscles require motion for flexibility. As a muscle contracts and relaxes, blood is pulled in and pushed out. This pump action allows blood whose nutrients and oxygen have been expended, along with metabolic waste products like lactic acid, to be flushed from the muscle and pulls fresh blood in to nourish the muscle and provide it with oxygen that it can convert to energy.
This is why people warm up before rigorous physical activity; muscles literally need to be warmed by fresh blood. After remaining for the most part in static positions throughout the night, your muscles become rigid. They don't have what they need to do work, so those first few movements of the day can not only be painful, but can create muscle strains.
If you have sore, stiff muscles when you wake, the process of getting out of bed should be a gentle one. While still laying down, slowly begin to stretch your arms and legs. Move your neck from side to side. Rather than pulling yourself up from bed, try rolling out of bed by swinging your legs off the edge, rolling to your stomach and slowly bringing yourself upright. Continue to stretch for a few minutes once you're out of bed. See http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/back-pain/back-pain-and-stretching-exercises for a list of morning stretches that will help relieve muscle stiffness.
Joints in the Morning
People who have joint pain and stiffness in the morning may have a form of arthritis. Joint stiffness and pain that is worst in the morning is a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, which involves inflammation of the joint.
People with rheumatoid arthritis have an excess of fluids surrounding their joints. Joints, much like muscles, depend on motion to push fluids out and pull them in. Inactivity causes fluids to pool around joints. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, the pain they usually feel from inflammation is exacerbated by inactivity.
People with arthritic morning pain should focus on range of motion stretching exercises. These simply involve moving your joints through their ranges of motion. It is important to move slowly and not exceed your range; this could lead to further pain and inflammation. Fish oil supplementation is now believed to help reduce morning stiffness if taken for at least three months.
Joint and muscle pain in the morning can also indicate harmful sleeping position and a mattress that does not support the body sufficiently. It is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether, and to put a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side. Your mattress should be firm enough to hold your spine and other joints in alignment.
For many people, simple stretching in the morning is enough to either eliminate or significantly reduce morning back pain. If you have severe joint stiffness in the morning, it is necessary to seek medical treatment as this is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Pay attention to where your pain is located and how long it lasts. This will help you to identify and resolve the causes of your morning back pain.