A lot of people complains back pain in morning, which troubles a lot for 15-20 minutes after getting up from the bed but later on subsides on its own. whereas on the other side, some people complain stiffness in lower back or neck. Majority of the slip disc incidents also takes place in the morning. In this article, I will try to explain the reason behind it.
for better understanding we need to understand the structure of our spine superficially we have skin, fascia(covering of the muscle), muscles, bones and then small structure surrounding it. Each bony segment of the spine is known as vertebra, between two vertebrae there is a jelly-like structure which is known as a disc. Bony articulation of the two vertebrae is known as facet joint. Nerve escapes out from the spine through the foramina between two vertebrae behind the disc. Ligaments provide support to the spine providing stability.
Disc in the spine has a special hydrophilic (water absorbing property) when they are not loaded, during the night. when we are sleeping spine is not loaded by body weight because we lie down in the horizontal position (gravity eliminated plane). During sleep, disc absorbs more and water and becomes like a swollen balloon in morning. swollen disc tries to elongate spine which is limited by muscles, fascia, joints of the spine so every morning there is tussle going on between elongation of the spine and its prevention. People who are having good flexibility are able to tolerate this without any difficulty. People who have compromised flexibility have aches and pain, those who are having good pain threshold they experience stiffness.
Due to elongation of spine stability of spine is also compromised that is why a lot of people experience catch in back when spine goes unstable at the particular segment in a particular movement.
Slip Disc (Disc prolapse) is more common in the morning because the ability of the disc to tolerate pressure is compromised early morning because of increased absorption of water.
How to prevent this pain and stiffness?
Few sessions of manual therapy improve the flexibility of muscles and mobility of stiff joints of the spine. followed by that movement based mobility exercises and stretching exercises to maintain the flexibility of spine are essential. Practising yoga and swimming in routine keeps the spine flexible. Important exercises for prevention are Lower trunk rotations on the bed (Raja Rani Aasan), Cat and Camel Exercise and Prayers Stretch (Child pose).