Do you jump out of bed, ecstatic at the prospect of another morning, or do you lie there, afraid to move because of the pain you’re sure to feel? Aches and pains are never welcome, but they can really dampen your spirits if they start bothering you from the moment you wake up.
It’s useful to know why these aches and pains are happening in different parts of your body, and how to stop them using drug-free, non-invasive methods like physical therapy.
Call our clinic today to schedule an appointment with a skilled therapist to find the much-needed relief you deserve and get back to enjoying your mornings!
Morning aches and pains…where do they come from?
The pain you experience in the morning and the pain you experience overnight are linked. Chronic lower back pain, for example, may jolt you awake several times a night, causing a twinge with every small movement.
When it’s time to get out of bed, you’re in even more pain than when you went to bed.
Morning aches and pains can be alleviated with physical therapy. A skilled physical therapist can assess your symptoms in detail, see how they relate to your sleep quality (or lack thereof), and determine the root causes.
This knowledge enables the development of a physical therapy program aimed at removing or controlling the causes.
For example, we may determine that your back requires a firmer or softer mattress, or that a contoured cervical pillow would be beneficial to your neck.
Other tried-and-true physical therapy techniques can help you strengthen your back, manage bursitis, relieve plantar fasciitis, and manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
We can also teach you about stress-relieving techniques for your jaw, as well as which sleeping positions are most likely to relieve joint pain.
Common areas of pain
Each area of the body has its own particular vulnerabilities to different kinds of morning pain.
Here’s a quick troubleshooting guide to help you figure out what’s going on.
- Hip pain. If you have hip pain that feels like it’s coming from inside the joint and gets worse when you wake up, you may have osteoarthritis. Bursitis is suspected if the pain is on the outside of the hip and it bothers you more at night.
- Heel pain. If taking those first few steps in the morning hurts your heels, but the pain goes away as you walk, you most likely have plantar fasciitis, chronic inflammation of the arches.
- Neck pain. If you wake up feeling like someone tried to twist your head off in the middle of the night, you might be sleeping on the wrong kind of pillow. Inadequate head and neck support can cause excruciating stiffness.
- Back pain. Any part of your back can hurt first thing in the morning. You may be sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress for your back if you can barely move in the morning or never get comfortable at night.
- Jaw pain. Does your jaw feel stiff and achy when you wake up in the morning? You may be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw as you sleep, a problem known as bruxism. This habit is associated with emotional and physical stress.
Is the problem your mattress, or something else?
It may be time to replace your mattress if it was once comfortable but is now the source of your aches and pains. Physical changes such as injuries, surgery, and weight gain or loss can alter your body’s sleeping position, necessitating a more rapid mattress change.
According to Spine Health, “Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or worsen lower back pain. Lack of support from a mattress reinforces poor sleeping posture, strains muscles, and does not help keep the spine in alignment, all of which contribute to low back pain.
Sleep comfort is also sacrificed if a mattress does not match one’s individual preferences. A mattress that provides both comfort and back support helps reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to really rest and rejuvenate during the night.”
While the Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7 to 10 years, how you feel in the morning is a better indicator of when it’s time to upgrade your sleeping surface.
What else could be causing your aches and pains in the morning?
Throughout the day, our bodies build up inflammation in the tissues. Even at the end of the day, you may not notice it because it is so subtle.
When we lie down and sleep, however, the inflammation thickens and settles into our muscles. As a result, your joints are immobilized, which can cause aches and pains when you wake up. Day after day, the same thing happens.
Eventually, chronic pain can set in if you do not make any lifestyle changes to correct the problem. This is why it is a great idea to contact our office for a consultation before the pain leads to more serious health problems.
A physical therapist can help you find relief
From conquering chronic pain sources to improving your “sleep hygiene,” you’ll find that physical therapy can help you ease morning aches and pains in a number of ways.
Don’t sleepwalk through life in a haze of chronic pain – wake up and contact our physical therapist for an evaluation!