Logo for Buffalo Rehab Group

Three Ways to Ruin Your Spine in the Morning

For many of us (myself included), mornings can be hectic. Hitting snooze a few times for an extra 20 minutes of sleep feels great; however, the running and hurrying to get to work on time isn’t so great. What we fail to realize during these crazy mornings is how many positions and movements we are driving through our spine. Such movements can include bending, twisting, sitting, and lifting. For some individuals with low back pain (LBP) and sciatica, symptoms can be more pronounced in the morning. If you are someone that fits into this category, you might be wondering why your mornings aren’t very pleasant. 

In the following article and video I will be discussing:

  • Reasoning behind low back pain in the morning
  • Anatomy of the spine
  • What to avoid in the morning

Included below is an image of the anatomy of the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine consists of 5 vertebrae with shock-absorbing discs that lie between each vertebrae. These discs are filled with dynamic fluid that responds to external stresses and forces. During the overnight hours, the amount of fluid and overall volume of the discs in our lumbar spine changes. Malko et al1 found that intervertebral disc fluid volume increases by 10.6% while we sleep. Due to the intervertebral discs being slightly inflated first thing in the morning, certain movements that are frequently performed during the morning can irritate the spine and make symptoms worse.

If you’re someone who has LBP and/or sciatica that is more pronounced in the morning and if you would like to learn more about how you can protect your spine when you wake up, check out my short video posted below. 

If this video described you, or if you are having low back pain, click the link below to schedule a free discovery visit.


Malko J, et al. An In Vivo MRI Study of the Changes in Volume (and Fluid Content) of the Lumbar Intervertebral Disc After Overnight Bed Rest and During an 8-Hour Walking Protocol. J Spinal Disorders & Techniques. 2002 Apr;15(2):157-163. doi: 10.1097/00024720-200204000-00012 



Join our Fall Flex 30-Day Fitness Challenge!SIGN UP