If you are like a lot of my patients you also wake up in the morning with a stiff lower back. You may even experience low back pain first thing. Why does this happen and what can you do about it?
The most common reason you may have low back pain first thing in the morning is because the joints in your spine (facet joints) and / or pelvis (S.I. joints) are the problem. The issue with these joints maybe wear and tear degeneration (osteoarthritis), joint capsule sprain, or chronic joint inflammation.
Inflamed joints prefer gentle movement. Movement creates a pumping mechanism which helps circulation bringing nutrients into the joints and removing the waste products. Even sitting for a short time can create similar issues. Typically this person will walk stiffly and sometimes painfully for the first 5-6 steps until it all eases up and the circulation improves.
From a chiropractic point of view, we restore movement to the segments that are key to your spine not moving correctly. This is great for the spine in the short term and the long term but even so, I will always need to educate my patients about the benefit of movement.
I have 5 great exercises that I regularly teach my patients and today I am going to teach you my favourite. It’s called ‘William’s Exercise’.
As we are talking of low back pain that you wake up with I suggest doing this series of movements in bed before you turn the lights out and as soon as you wake up – before you get out of bed.
Lie flat on your back in bed. Pull your right knee up to your right shoulder as far as it will go but don’t force this to the point of pain. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
Now straighten your arms but keep a hold of your knee. From this position now pull your right knee towards your left shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds.
Now do the exact same routine using your left knee to left shoulder, and so on.
I recommend that you do the above twice on each leg. The last manoeuvre is to bring both your knees to your chest and gently move your knees side to side to loosen up your lower spine.
Now put a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back and between your knees if you sleep on your side. AVOID sleeping on your stomach.
Repeat Williams exercise in the morning before you get out of bed.
I hope this helps you. If you continue to struggle or are fed up with back pain then you should contact a “hands-on” professional to help restore balance and movement to your spine and pelvis.