Why Does My Back Hurt When I Wake Up? [Reasons & Solutions]


Do you get up in the morning feeling like someone has stabbed you in the back, asking yourself “Why does my back hurt when I wake up?” If so, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the US, and it can be caused by a variety of things. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common causes of back pain and offer solutions to help you get relief!

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Wake Up?

There are a number of reasons why your back might hurt when you wake up, ranging from the mattress quality and your sleeping position to several medical issues. Take a look at the following list to discover the most common causes of your morning back pain:

Mattress Quality

The quality of your mattress may be to blame for your poor sleep quality and your back pain in the morning. If you’re sleeping on a soft or saggy mattress, your spine can curve unnaturally, leading to back pain. Mattresses that are too firm can also cause pain by putting pressure on sensitive areas like shoulders or hips when you sleep.

Sleeping Position

If you’re sleeping on your stomach or with your knees bent, your sleeping position may also be what’s causing you to wonder: “Why does my back hurt when I lay down”? Additionally, if you’re waking up tired, or not getting enough restorative sleep, this can lead to fatigue and muscle tension, which can aggravate back pain.

Disc Degeneration

The degenerative disc disease which can cause back pain occurs when the discs between the vertebrae wear out and begin to narrow, putting pressure on nearby nerves, which leads to aches or tingling sensations in your arms or legs. If you think that degenerative disc disease may be what’s causing your back pain, it’s important to talk to your doctor about treatment options, as it could lead to more serious problems over time.


If you’re pregnant, or you suspect you may be, consider that as a possible answer to your question “Why does my lower back hurt when I lay down”? as pregnancy often presents such a symptom. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin which causes the joints and ligaments in your pelvis area to loosen up. This allows them to expand as the baby grows inside of you, but also puts stress on other parts of your spine, causing discomfort when moving around or lying down at night time.


Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain in the body, including stabbing or burning back pain after sleeping. There is no known cause of fibromyalgia, but it is believed to be related to changes in the way the brain processes pain signals. If you think that fibromyalgia may be causing your morning backache and stiffness, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

DID YOU KNOW: Many people think that fibromyalgia and arthritis are the same conditions, but the reality is that other than the symptoms of fatigue and waking up with lower back pain, these two conditions have nothing in common. Unlike arthritis, which primarily affects joints, fibromyalgia affects the muscles and soft tissues.

Physical Injury

A physical injury can also cause back or sacrum pain. If you’ve recently injured yourself and developed back pain as a result, this could be from back muscles that are strained or bruised due to lifting heavy objects or suffering a fall.

Spinal Cord Problems

A spinal cord problem can cause lower back pain in the morning. If you have an injury or disease that affects the nerves in your spine, this could be causing discomfort when lying down at night time. If you suspect that you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, and experience extreme pain or pressure in your back, head, or neck, you should seek immediate medical attention to get proper treatment.

Poor Exercise Routine (Too Little or Too Harsh)

A poor exercise routine can lead to back pain. If you’re not working out regularly, this can cause your muscles to become weak and tight, which puts stress on the spine. Additionally, your back pain from sleeping may also occur after you perform high-impact exercises without properly warming up first.

Key Takeaways

Back pain is one of the most common types of pain Americans experience, and it can be caused by a variety of things.
The causes of back pain are many, ranging from bad sleeping positions and decreased blood flow to some more serious medical conditions like disc degeneration, fibromyalgia, etc.
Arthritis differs from fibromyalgia, as it primarily affects joints, while fibromyalgia affects muscles and soft tissues.
If you suspect that a recent spine injury is the cause of your back pain, contact your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

What to Do if Your Back Hurts After Sleeping?

Now let’s check what you can do to prevent this condition from happening.

  • Stretching in Bed

If you’re experiencing back pain after you wake up, one thing you can do is stretch in bed. There are a few different stretches that you can try that target the muscles in your back and neck. You can find videos of these online or ask a physical therapist for advice on how to perform them correctly.

DID YOU KNOW: If you’re tired of waking up with lower back pain every day, try the Hip Lift exercise. Put your palms on the bed behind you, cross your legs, and try moving your weight into your hands, while at the same time drawing your chest and hips towards the ceiling.
  • Try a Different Sleeping Position

Another possible solution to stop waking up with back pain is to try sleeping in a different position. If you usually sleep on your stomach, try sleeping on your back instead, and if you sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side. This can help to decrease the amount of stress that’s put on your spine as you move around during the night.

  • Certain Yoga Poses

You can make your lower and upper back pain after sleeping go away by simply practicing yoga for a few minutes every day. There are some yoga poses suitable even for beginners, such as the cat-cow pose, sphinx pose, the child’s pose, and bridge pose,  which might be a great solution to this problem. For best results you should try meditating with the help of meditation tools.

  • Daily Exercise

If you’re experiencing back pain when you wake up, one of the best things you can do is start a regular exercise routine to strengthen your muscles and keep them flexible. Be sure to include both low and high-impact exercises in your routine, and always warm up and cool down properly before and after working out.

  • Knee Bends

If you’re wondering: “Why does my lower back hurt when I wake up”? One of the possible solutions would be doing knee bends, which are great for strengthening the muscles in your legs and back, so they’re less likely to hurt after sleep.

To do this, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and then lower down as if sitting on an invisible chair until your thighs are parallel with the floor, before returning to an upright position again. Repeat this several times.

  • Topical Remedies

If you’re experiencing intense back pain after sleeping, topical remedies can be helpful. Different types of topical remedies that you can try include:

  • Pain relief gels or creams
  • Heat pads or ice packs
  • Transdermal patches with medication

Talk to your doctor about the best option for you and be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

  • Over-The-Counter Medication

Over-the-counter medication can also help in relieving your back pain. There are a few different types of OTC medication you can try:

  • Acetaminophen for pain relief
  • Ibuprofen for inflammation relief
  • Aspirin for pain and inflammation relief
DID YOU KNOW: Apart from Ibuprofen, there is another NSAID drug that can relieve your morning back pain, known as Naproxen. This drug’s pro over Ibuprofen is that its effect lasts 8-12 hours longer, but it can be hard on the stomach, so you should always take it with food.
  • Change Your Mattress

A good night’s sleep is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing, so if you’re waking up with a sore back, it may be time for an upgrade. Old, lumpy mattresses can cause or contribute to periodic or chronic back pain, so consider purchasing a new one.

A good Tempur-Pedic mattress will help you maintain the natural curve of your spine, providing support for your sleeping position by reducing the pressure points, and allowing you to wake up pain-free.


If your back hurts after sleeping, there are a few things that you can do to help alleviate the pain. You may need to make some lifestyle changes or try a different sleeping position in order to get rid of any discomfort. If all else fails, see a doctor, as back pain can indicate other issues that can’t be solved with just a few simple tips and tricks.


How can I stop waking up with back pain?

Doctors recommend changing your sleeping position if you want to stop waking up with lower back pain in the morning. You can try sleeping on your side, or on your back, with a pillow under your knees. If you prefer sleeping on your stomach, put the pillow under your lower abdomen.

What does it mean when you wake up and your back hurts?

Waking up with back pain can mean a lot of things, from bad sleeping posture and low mattress quality to several medical conditions, like fibromyalgia, disc degeneration, etc. Make sure to discover the cause of the pain in order to know how to act on it.

How do I know if my bed is causing back pain?

Sleeping on a worn-out mattress can be the answer to your question: ”Why does my back hurt when I wake up”? If you’re also tossing and turning, or waking up several times during the night, your mattress is probably causing the problem.

Can a soft bed hurt your back?

Back pain can be caused not only by a hard mattress but a soft one, too, as it might make your spine fall out of alignment, which can result in significant pain.


I've loved writing since I can remember, and back in high school, I started loving psychology as well. So I majored in it while dabbling in spirituality and yoga on the side.

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