How to Decrease Morning Pain

• by Stacey L. Nash

It can be tough to jump out of bed in the morning when pain starts before your feet hit the ground. While morning pain isn’t uncommon, it doesn’t have to be a regular part of your life. With a consistent effort to identify and reduce pain while focusing on better (and more) sleep, you can keep it from slowing down your morning.

Check Your Mattress

Your mattress can have a profound impact, both good and bad, on the quality of your sleep. In general, the more you weigh, the more firm your mattress needs to be. Conversely, smaller, lighter people are usually more comfortable on a softer mattress as they don’t need the extra firmness to keep their spine aligned. A medium-firm mattress often works best for people of average height and weight.

Your mattress should also cater to your preferred sleep position. A medium-firm mattress provides enough support for most back and some side sleepers. However, if hip or shoulder pain troubles you, and you’re a side sleeper, a softer mattress may be more comfortable. Stomach sleepers, who are more likely to put increased pressure on the lower back, do better with a firmer mattress that prevents the low back from overarching.

Start Your Morning Slow

Give yourself plenty of time to wake and limber up in the morning. You may need to add an extra fifteen to twenty minutes to your alarm so you have the time to slowly warm up your muscles before climbing out of bed. Extra heat can come in the form of an extra sleeping bag or heating pad waiting next to the bed. Throw it over your sore spots and let the heat bring movement back to the area.

Exercise and Stretch

Regular exercise helps your body in all kinds of ways, including pain reduction and tolerance. Exercise causes the release of endorphins that make you feel good and dull pain. In a comparison study, it was found that regular exercise increased pain tolerance over time. It also helped participants strengthen and improve mobility. At the end of the study, participants who exercised showed a noticeable increase in their pain tolerance over the control group.

However, you’ll need to be careful what kind of exercises you choose. Depending on the type and location of your pain, low-impact exercise like swimming, walking, and gentle yoga may be a good place to start. They aren’t hard on the joints, and you can gradually increase your speed and intensity.

Linger in the Shower

You may have started the morning with a heating pad but hot water lets the heat sink deeply into the muscles and bones. Heat naturally gets your heart pumping and moving blood through your body, which can loosen stiffness and relax tight muscles. Bath or shower, it doesn’t really matter but give yourself time to fully loosen up before you get to work.

Visit a Chiropractor Regularly

Consult a licensed chiropractor to help identify the exact location and cause of your pain. Together, you can devise a treatment schedule and plan so that morning or any other kind of pain will no longer have a place in your life.

Author: Stacey L. Nash is a Seattle area writer whose insomnia led her to research all aspects of sleep. With a degree in communications from the University of Puget Sound, she helps put sleep into the forefront of the health and wellness conversation.