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Waking Up With Back Pain: What Could Be The Reason?

Updated: Jan 22

Back pain is the most common type of musculoskeletal pain many adults experience. Experiencing a mild back pain in the morning is actually not uncommon. In most cases, it can be attributed to the common stiffness you experience after staying in a single position for long hours.

However, there are also instances when the back pain you feel would not simply go even after you have arisen from bed and started moving around. If that is the case, then perhaps there may be a specific cause behind your back pain that may even require the attention of a Singapore back pain specialist such as Affinity Pain Clinic. Read on to find out 4 of the most common causes of back pain after waking up.

1. Bad sleeping position

If you always feel back pain each morning after waking up, your sleeping position could be the reason why. Sleeping in a bad, unsupported position can put stress on your spine and result in back pain. For instance, if you sleep on your stomach, there is a tendency for your neck to be twisted. This strains the neck muscles resulting in neck pain

It can also cause your lower abdomen to sink more deeply into the bed, causing your back to lose its natural curvature. To minimise such pain issues, it is recommended to do away with a head pillow if you sleep on your stomach and to place a thin pillow underneath your lower abdomen. You can also try back sleeping, as this position makes it easier to maintain the curvature of your spine.

2. Unsupportive mattress

Even if you have a good sleeping position, you can still experience back pain in the morning if you are sleeping on a worn out and unsupportive mattress. Your mattress should be replaced every after a couple of years, as old mattresses tend to become less supportive over the years, which leads to back pain.

A study particularly found that people who replaced their old mattresses, which were 9 and a half years old on an average, with new ones experienced improved sleep quality and reduced back pain over the following month. Nonetheless, you can still sometimes experience back pain even if your mattress is relatively new, as it may just not be suitable for you. It could be too soft or too firm to provide sufficient support. Hence, choosing the right mattress is important.

3. Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is common in adults over 60 years old. It can naturally develop with age since the spinal discs between the vertebrae dry up. Drying out of the discs lead to decreased disc height leading to joint strain in the spine. This process occurs with minimal pain for some people. However, for others, the pain can be severe and even worsen in the morning.

Being obese or overweight can aggravate disc degeneration and any associated back pain. Hence, it is important to always maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. The treatment for this condition may include physical therapy, acupuncture, ice or heat therapy, pain medications, and pain injections.

4. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is experienced by up to 5% of people, with women being at more risk than men. Fibromyalgia is a condition characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain along with fatigue, emotional and mental distress, and sleep problems. It causes tension, spasms, and muscle pain throughout the body, including the back.

As of today, there is still no cure for fibromyalgia. Nonetheless, physicians may prescribe pain relievers and muscle relaxants to relieve its symptoms. Therapies like physical therapy, massage, and acupuncture may also be recommended. To prevent developing this condition, you should minimise stress, stay active, and maintain a good overall health.


There are several possible reasons why you always experience back pain every morning after sleeping. This problem can be solved by doing something as simple as changing you sleeping position or replacing your mattresses. However, if you suspect that you have a medical condition like degenerative disc disease or fibromyalgia, the best course of action to take is to seek professional medical help.

At Affinity Pain Clinic, we have seasoned and skilled physicians who provide comprehensive treatments specifically designed to address different types of body pains, including neck and back pain, elbow pain, headache, and nerve pain. We also offer effective sport injury treatment for common sport injuries like strains, sprains, and dislocations.

To schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to drop us a message at anytime.


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