3 Stretches to Relieve Morning Back Pain

by Julie Donnelly, Guest Author
of Dr. Stephen Chaney

You wake up in the morning with a pain in your lower back. What a lousy way to start the day! How can you get rid of that pain so you feel ready to conquer the new day?

It may be hard to believe, but sleeping places a repetitive strain on the body!

Man Stretching In BedHow could this be?

For most of us during sleep we stay in one position for hours at a time.  So if you wake up with back pain after sleeping, you are experiencing the side effects of muscles held in one position for hours.

Because the muscles have to contract to pull your body into your favorite sleeping position and then the muscles stay in a shortened position for hours this can cause pain and tension in your back.

When you wake up with back pain after sleeping you may think you need a new mattress.  You might, but it’s definitely worthwhile to address the tight muscles first as they may be the whole problem.

Have you ever seen a dog do their “downward dog” stretch after a nap? Downward Dog

Before the dog bounces back into the world it takes time to awaken its body. This is your pain relief “role-model” for stretching your back after sleeping.

You’ll be amazed at how simply moving in bed before starting your day eliminates pain and tension.

Let’s get started!  While still in bed begin moving around; raise your arms over head and stretch your legs out and flex your feet.  Maybe roll to each side stretching the sides of your body.

Try these 3 stretches we recommend:

3 Stretches To Relieve Morning Back Pain 

Upper Back Shoulder StretchWhen you are ready bring yourself to a seated position (still in bed!).

One at a time, bring your arm across the front of your body.  Pull your shoulder and shoulder blade toward the front, but without moving the rest of your trunk.  This is a great stretch for your triceps, shoulders and upper back.

Erector Spinal Stretch
Next stretch!  Bring your feet together, as pictured here.

Start with a straight spine then slowly roll your chin into your chest, rounding your back.  Mmmmm…this feels good!

Hip StretchAnd finally, try this juicy spinal twist.

Sit with left leg straight out or you can bend it as pictured.  Cross the right foot over the left leg, press your right hand behind you, place your left elbow on your right knee now twist.  Stretch as far as you are comfortable.  Try holding it 15-20 seconds.

This stretch will even help to loosen your hips if you sit as pictured!

As with all stretches, start out easy – stretching should feel GOOD.  You’ll feel the tension ease as the blood starts flowing.
The tight muscles that cause back pain after sleeping can hamper your entire day, but doing these simple stretches will make a world of difference!


This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

About Dr. Chaney’s Guest Author
Julie DonnellyJulie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies. She has been widely published, both on- and off-line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.


About The Author
Dr. ChaneyDr. Chaney has a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in Biochemistry from UCLA. He is Professor Emeritus from the University of North Carolina where he taught biochemistry and nutrition to medical and dental students for 40 years. Dr. Chaney won numerous teaching awards at UNC, including the Academy of Educators “Excellence in Teaching Lifetime Achievement Award.” Dr Chaney also ran an active cancer research program at UNC and published over 100 scientific articles and reviews in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In addition, he authored two chapters on nutrition in one of the leading biochemistry text books for medical students.


Additional Resources to Help You:


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