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Avatar universal

Lower back pain only in morning

I wake every morning with horrible pain in lower back (kidney area) that radiates to the front of stomach (rib area).  I have had battery of tests and found nothing.  I am only able to sleep 5-6 hours before pain wakes me, also unable to take a deep breath until I get out of bed (very painful just to roll over), once I stand and get out of bed the pain almost immediately starts to ease.  After about 20 minutes of walking around and after first morning void, pain disappears for remainder of day.
Could this be a pinched nerve or nerve compression?  Had MRI of lower lumbar which showed normal...chiro recommends stretching excersises, something serious has to be wrong with this kind of pain.  If anyone has any ideas it would be GREATLY appreciated!!
268 Responses
193953 tn?1272075026
This is very common to how my pain started. It would hurt the worst in the morning but I get up and walk. Once I had walked that was it for a while. I would have to take pain meds 30 minutes prior to getting up. I have moderate to severe DDD and Facet Syndrome.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply.  May I ask what DDD is?  Also, after seeing a chiro, he also gave me a diagnosis of Facet syndrome.  Is your morning pain so severe that it hurts to inhale and exhale?  Again, once I'm up for about 20 min the pain is no longer there.  Its just horrible to wake with this pain every morning. It all seem to come out after the birth of my daughter, 9 years ago.  I have been dealing with this pain every since...nothing helps.  I've had about every test you can imagine ran and they come up with nothing.  There has got to be a reason for this pain and someway to manage it. Are you presently taking any meds for this condition?  Thanks again, I'm sorry you have the same problem but I'm glad to know that someone else knows what I'm going through and understands.
193953 tn?1272075026
DDD = Degenerative Disc Disease. I don't know how you would have got the diagnoisis of Facet Syndrome without having the diagnosis of DDD. That is a precursor. I take Lyrica and Hydrocodone APAP. I also take some Relafan but the dr. doesn't know that. I am allergic to NSAIDs and I am most definitely allergic to this Relafan. It gives me horrible chest pains but sometimes I will just take them over the back pain. I have an alarm clock with 2 alarms on it. One wakes me 30 minutes prior to getting up. I have my meds on the bed side table and take those with the first alarm. I just go back to sleep. 30 minutes later, I am OK enough to get up , get dressed, and go exercise!
Avatar universal
Thanks for the definition, the chiro is who gave me the diagnosis of Facet Syndrome, gave me some literature on the syndrome and wanted me to continue with office visits, stretching procedures, etc.  To be honest, after a few visits insurance stopped paying and I didnt see any results for the pain.  I asked about pain meds and chiro explained that he was not of authority to write prec's(?)  I just wish I could find something to stop the pain.  Do you have difficulty inhaling and exhaling with the pain upon waking?
Thanks again - God bless.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem as you have stated. Here is my story and hopefully it may help you understand why you may have these pains.

I have had two herniated discs lower back since I was 12 years old.(fell out of the loft of a barn and landed on my butt!) The result was severe pain after sitting for more than 15 minutes unless a lumbar support was utilized. I am 44 now and have been able to control the pain, which used to knock me to the ground after sitting, through major abdomen exercises. Twelve years ago, I joined a wellness center work-out room and started using a quality ab-roller. After one month of using the ab-roller 3 to 4 days a week, I forgot about my chronic pain and was able to throw out all of the lumbar supports I had for the office, car, etc...!  One symptom I still get once or twice a month is pain horizontally through my body at the waste line in the morning. The pain is increased if I take a deep breath. I have to get up and walk around for 10 minutes and the pain goes away for the rest of the day. I can even go back to bed after about 30 minutes and sleep more without the pain returning. Most likely, you all probably have disc issues with your lower back.
Avatar universal
if you have ever travelled to thailand or asia, they have hard hard beds there.  i noticed (before i had the drx900 treatment) that when i was sleeping on these beds (on my back) i awoke with hardly any back pain....and it was after i got up and compressed the spine again it came back.
we bought a hard hard kingsize bed at ikea....my wife got used to it, and i never wake with back pain anymore.

we had one of these 3K kingsize beds...hahaha, the ikea bed mattress we stuck on it was 300 bucks.  if anybody lives in calgary and wants a kingsize pillowtop mattress they can have ourold one. (new)  ryan.
Avatar universal
Here is some info that I found that may be helpful for you.  I have used magnesium for about six months now and it has been great!  I don't know if this can be as helpful with your problem but I thought I would share with you anyway.  See below:

"Magnesium is involved in more than 325 biochemical reactions, some of the early symptoms of magnesium deficiency include body aches, chronic constipation, headaches and migraines, insulin resistance, PMS, leg cramps, muscle twitches, and more. Left untreated, a magnesium deficiency can lead to more life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and others.

Magnesium's role in energy production. One of the primary roles of magnesium is to activate the adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy storage molecule, to create and store energy. Without energy, there is no life.

Magnesium's role in relaxing muscles. Another primary role of magnesium is to work with calcium to help regulate the body's nerve and muscle tone. In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as a chemical gate blocker - as long as there is enough magnesium around, calcium can't rush into the nerve cell and activate the nerve. This gate blocking by magnesium helps keep the nerve relaxed. If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, this gate blocking can fail and the nerve cell can become overactivated. When some nerve cells are overactivated, they can send too many messages to the muscles and cause the muscles to overcontract. This chain of events helps explain how magnesium deficiency can trigger muscle tension, muscle soreness, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, and muscle fatigue especially in the back and legs where some of the body's largest muscles live."

Avatar universal
Boy oh boy can I realate to you SJMCRAE! I have not heard anyone say they have the severe pain in the early morning hours only. This is me. I just dread going to bed every night because I just know how much pain I am going to be in come 7 hrs later. It is totally amazing how all day and all night it doesn't hurt at all, only SEVERE pain in the am. I can barely roll over. My husband has to help me out of the bed as I grit my teeth. This has been every morning for the past year or so. The pain first started when my little boy turned 7 months old. We thought it has something to do with lifting him etc. We know it's not because he is 3 now and I don't pick him up at all! I also have had numerous xrays, bloodtests and everything always comes back normal. I have done 4 months straight of PT and was religious about the exercises, it did absolutely nothing. I can't take the pain meds the doc gave me for they make me to grogy. I recently started doing massages a couple days a week along with swimming and regualar mild exercise and it seems a little better. After the doctor's advice we just laid down $4200 on a Tempurpedic bed which was delivered this week. Seems so different, but I am willing to give anything a try. I have heard many people get better by this sleeping on this type of bed. The doc said to watch the posture, ice pack for 20 min every night and mild exercises. This was after he did 8 trigger point injections in my back that did nothing. It's been 2 weeks since the shots and I've felt no relief. I am so with you SJMCRAE. This pain has to be something! The pain is so bad that I can not take deep breaths and even struggle to talk. I think I'm going to get rid of my $300 sealy posterpedic office chair and get one of those balls or stands so my shoulers do not go forward. If anyone who has back pain like this in the am only can give advice it would be so wonderful. From 8am - 10-11pm when I go to bed I have zero pain. It is only in the early morning! Ugh.... Hurtin' in Phoenix....
Avatar universal
I have the same condition. I usually wake up paralised, really stiff and in excruciating pain, specially in my lower back which made me think of kidneys but all the exams come back  fine.. Takes me a while to get up and to move! Once I sluggishly start moving takes about t 20 to 30 minutes to dissipater ( but it has taken longer)
Avatar universal
I have the same problem. If I wake up in the night; I am ok, but if I wake up in the morning hours; I am in severe pain - in the lower back (kidney area, right and left hip (on the sides) and upper back in the middle.  After about 30 min to 1 hr; it goes away.  I have a sedentary job and if I sit too long, my hips will ache again and makes it slightly painful to get out of chair, but nothing like the morning.  Since I had a cesearean in 1988; I have had a big stomach, so I thought that might be the reason, because when I suck in my stomach; it relieves my back.  I am going to the doctor today, so we will see what she thinks.....
Avatar universal
Funny that this appears to be more a female problem than male. I am a man in my mid 30's and recently started having this puzzling morning pains that end almost immediately after walking around. I tried changing the mattress, posture of sleep and even droping off the pillow but to no avail. Thinking of trying out the abdomen exercises. any other suggestions???
Avatar universal
If you look a little further down the page you will find someone has submitted a posting called "Upper mid back pain only after sleeping" ..... This posting has had 177 replies from people all suffering with this horrible same problem including myself.  It takes a lot of reading, but it is well worth it as there is some interesting advice given.  I get the impression that this pain is in fact a huge muscle spasm encircling our mid thoracic region which can be remedied by watching our posture and engaging in specific stretching exercises.  I think the fact that 177 people have had this checked out by their GP with nothing bad being found suggests that we really shouldnt be worrying that we have something dreadfully wrong with us.
Avatar universal
I also have a similiar problem.  If I do not sleep to long the problem usually isn't bad.  If I sleep later (like on a Saturday or Sunday) I wake to pain in my lower back and right hip and it usually lasts all day long.

I workout at least 3 to 4 times a week.  My exercises begin with Situps and Pushup and then I run (on a treadmill) and an elyptical machine.  I notice while doing situps that I get some pain near the hip area (lower back but on right side).

I just wanted to pass my info along to the group and if anyone has information for me please provide it.  After reading above... I think that I will try sleeping on a hard surface to see if it helps my condition.

Avatar universal
Well I have these pains too ! They are crippling and becoming worse all the time. I'm a 54 year old female. I have explained this to many doctors and they look at me like I am nuts !  It seems they radiate from the kidney area, then kinda go upwards and downwards. The longer I have them the worse they are getting. I have been sent to various doctors and all of my tests have come back fine. I wake up several times during the night. I can barely move from the pain.  After voiding some pain is gone. There is less pressure on my back. I thought it was kidney related but I went through many tests and all came back normal.  The worst pain is when I wake in the morning,  I have to have assistance or it takes me forever to get out of bed. As usual  I get some relief with voiding. As the morning goes on the pain begins to disappear .But it seems due to voiding.  I am so worn out from pain that I feel I had put in a full day each morning and therefore I am tired and am becoming more inactive daily. I am gaining weight from inactivity. This must be a nerve thing because the other day I turned wrong and found myself in a predicament. Had I had the phone with me I would have called 911.  Seems a lot of people have this yet most of the doctors think your nuts when you explain it to them.  I have gotten more info from this website and your letter then I have from all of my doctors and tests put together.  Thank you all.
Avatar universal
I have been looking for answers to my morning back pain.
I gave up going to the doctor after doing xrays, ultra sounds, kidney tests and all were normal.  I'm 50 years old and in good shape.  I thought it might of been peri-menopausal or have something to do with the arthritis in my hip.  So glad I came across this site.  My pain starts after about 5 hours of sleep.  I sleep on my back and don't seem to move much, but once my back starts to hurt I cannot find a spot comfortable.  The only way for it to go away is to get up and after 30 min its gone.  Will keep looking at this site for more answers.
Avatar universal
      I went online to find some answers today--- I have excruciating pain in my lower back when I wake in the morning. It's every morning no matter what bed I sleep on. I always sleep on my back. The pain will dissipate after about 45 minutes.
     The pain seems to travel through my lower back and in towards my [kidneys?] I am a 28 year old female. The pain has been there since I was 21. I have been taking opiate meds for several years and I am currently coming off from them (through Dr. supervision). I thought that perhaps that was causing the problem (opiates in general). But after reading all of these postings, I doubt that's what it is...
     When I was 17 I had a snowboarding accident. I broke my tail bone. I have also wondered if that's it... I just don't know. My posture is awful and I try to remind myself to stand up straight. I have an odd curve in my spine. I call it the "dinosaur" cause if I hunch over, the spine protrudes (mainly in mid-back) and looks like a stegosaurus. I have been doing better at keeping posture lately, but the pain is still there. often ask my husband to crack my back. When he does, my back will crack and pop from the bottom to the top!
     Recently I began exercising with the hope that strengthening my core would help. It's been two weeks and I see no changes (although it will probably be a month to two until/if I see changes). I have thought about seeing I doctor, but I don't have health insurance at this time and have enough out-of-pocket health costs as it is.
      I know people don't like to talk about things like this; but do any of you have chronic constipation? I read that this can very well be a cause of this type of pain.
     I will definitely try the magnesium supplements. I am very into vitamins! I take several daily and attribute them to the reason why I have not been sick all year! However, I realized that I don't take magnesium! So, thanks to gengi, I will give that a try for sure and report back (mind the pun)!
     If any of you find relief in something, please let us know! I am desperate for answers...

Avatar universal
i have had the same problem for a few months, it hits me after a few hours of sleep. i do not look foward to the weekends ( when i need some extra rest) i pretty fresh of a herion addiction, been clean for 6 months, this is when my morning pain started.i have a temperpedic matress and if flipped on the wrong side provides a harder surface, nothing works.... my guess befoer even reading this post board was a deficiency of some sort. the posting by jenji on Magnesium makes sense to much. i will try......thanks
Avatar universal
You said your pain started after having your baby. Well my daughter started with problems when she had her baby and the baby is now 15 yrs old. They did everything to her. They even gave her a full historectomy at 35 yrs old. It still did not help. After all the years, drs and surgeries, they found her pelvic bone did not close properly when the baby was born. They gave her exercizes that helped her.

She also had a second problem going on with the lower back. She had disc problems in the lower back, so do I, my sister and my son. We are all sway backed. I went to my dr recently and noticed his chart of spine problems. Sway back is a back problem in that the back bone curves in. I thought it was just a build of the body passed down. Well I do have other problems that are causing additional problems of the alignment causing disc problems through most of my back. A therapist told me to put a pillow under my knees at night so my back would be flat against the bed. It would take the pressure off of my back. It does work. I have had a harder bed and soft bed and neither helped me. I have a medium firmness now and if I don't raise my knees, I will hurt more there. Since I have progressed to a much larger area of problems, the rest of it makes up for it. It is worth a try if you are sway backed. The lower back swerves in making the rump look plumper. The best bed I have found for that is a water bed that had baffles and a 3 second movement stop. It made it firmer, but conformed to the curve. Wish you the best.
Avatar universal
I have begun experiencing (about 3 or 4 weeks now) severe pain on left side near kidney area (lower back?) as I get out of bed each morning.  At first it feels like muscle cramp in swinging out of bed and as I  then have to stand there is sharp pain and I can't stand up.  As I begin to walk - at first stooped over - the pain subsides.  This is about 5 -10 minutes in total.  The pain is gone all day - and only returns the exact same way next morning.  Can it be the mattress?  I am seeing my Dr in a few  days but after reading some of your experiences - I am doubtful I will get any real answers - except to be referred to someone else and  have the standard x-rays and tests.  
Avatar universal
I experience the same shortness of breath and pain when inhaling in the morning.  The pain, which emerges from my lower back, through what appears to feel like my kidneys are about to explode, subsides somewhat after first morning void and some walking around for about 8-15 minutes.  The pain is hardly noticeable after that until the next morning, but I'm constantly thinking that my kidneys are about to fail or something.  It started several months ago, when my daughter turned about 6 months old.  There has to be some type of connection, in my case, between the lifting and perhaps too soft of a mattress.  Any ideas?
Avatar universal
Hi guys
    I have been working in an assisted living facility for about
a year, now, and also have in the past 6 or 7 months, gained
almost 60lbs.  (I know, that last part's not good!)  Since the
time I've gained the weight, I've had pretty much cronic lower
back pain EVERY morning when I wake up.  Will exercising
and loosing the weight help this problem, you all think?
It's very annoying--I miss waking up like a "regular person"--
pain and symptom free.  I'm supposed to go to a PT this coming
week, to learn some stretches, so hopefully that'll help, also.
Am I on the right track to fixing this annoying lower back pain?
Thanks for your time/help.  I've been reading everyone's posts,
and have gotten some ideas.  Thanks!   :-)
Avatar universal
One exercise my Chiropractor gave me to relieve lower back pain is to place a phone book or a book about two to three inches on the floor and stand erect with your toes on the book and heels on the floor. Stand there for a few minutes and you will immediately feel relief.
Avatar universal
I have had the same issues listed above but only since my children were born (the first 4 yrs ago). I am 36yrs old and I have found that I have to do very intensive core exercising to get that area very strong which relieves my issues.  I am currently alternating between Gunner Peterson's Core Strength and Turbo Jam.  Hard excersing but worth the relief.  Also if I am sore in the morning, I use a heating pad before I get up and that helps tremendously.  Good luck!!!
Avatar universal
I Have the same back pain in the early morning. I had chest pain start to wake me around 4am or about 6 months ago and now the back pain is way worse. The combination of the two make it hard to breathe they hurt so bad! I get rudely awaken each morning with horrendous agonizing pain in my chest and back. The back pain is significanlty worse and just started a month ago. I am lucky to get a wink of sleep after about 4 or 5am. I have to lie on my left side only or sit up at an odd angle to squelch the pain at all. The chest pain is gone 100% after getting up for 30 minutes. The back pain is reduced by 75% after an hour of getting up, but remains mild all day. Waking up at 4 and 5am is getting really old!!!!! I dread going to sleep because the pain will wake me up.
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