Why does my back hurt more in the morning and feel better as the day goes by?

Whenever you have a back or neck problem, keeping the area moving will prevent it from seizing up. Unless the neck or back has had a recent traumatic injury that requires immobilization, keeping an injured area moving conservatively will help to make it feel a little better and also speed up the healing time. Therefore, when you are lying in bed for hours and not moving, it only makes sense that a pre-existing neck or back problem will tighten up further. Then, in the morning after a hot shower and moving around the house, the symptoms will lessen.

Do I need a new mattress since I wake up each morning sore?

Unless your mattress is very old, I would typically say no, you don’t need a new mattress. If you sat down and thought about it, mattresses don’t just all of sudden stop providing the support your spine needs when sleeping. Therefore, the mattress that you were using a month ago while your back or neck felt fine is not all of sudden causing pain in these areas. Again, the reason you are waking up sore is because the injured area of your back or neck is not moving at all while you sleep. As a result, these areas will tighten and become more symptomatic.

I have tried resting my injured back or neck, but the pain just keeps coming back. Why?

Research has shown, particularly with non-traumatic neck and back injuries, that if you don’t undergo any treatment whatsoever for your problem, the pain will likely go away or at least lessen. However, my comment to this is that even if the inflammation and pain dissipate, the lack of mobility in the problematic joints and muscles may not be restored. This is where the chiropractor can help. Whether the joints and muscles of the spine are sore or not, a chiropractor is highly trained to restore and maintain the mobility of the affected joints. Once this is accomplished, then the joints and muscles can heal fully and not be prone to a reoccurrence of the same problem.

Continued in the Thursday, July 3 edition of the Merritt Herald.