VIDEO: Tips to Manage Low Back Stiffness in the Morning

Clinical Expertise

Jul 8, 2021

Medical Reviewer: Brendan Bak, PT, DPT
Last Updated: June 3, 2021

Video Transcript

Hey everybody, my name is Brendan Bak, I’m a physical therapist here at Brooks Rehab.

Today I just wanted to share with you guys a couple of tips on ways to kind of manage low back pain or stiffness in the morning.

So a lot of the time early in the morning when we wake up it’s not uncommon to have a little stiffness or pain first thing in the morning.

So, here are a couple of really easy exercises we can do in the morning to help kind of manage some of that stiffness and hopefully get you feeling better a little quicker.

So the first thing you can do is just lying right on your back, and you can do this first thing in the morning when you wake up, is to get on your back and just have your knees bent in something like this position here. And then all you can do is just rock your knees side to side.

So what we’re doing here is we’re just moving some of the joints in our low back within a range that’s tolerable and doesn’t cause pain. And you may feel like you’re working through some stiffness and that’s okay, but you really shouldn’t feel a lot of pain with this motion. And you can do about 30 of these in a row just side to side. And then after that, you’re already in the position for the next exercise.

So what you could also do is just do a stretch where you’re just trying to kind of pull your knees towards your chest. And you can alternate legs with this one as well.

So, same concept. We’re just kinda getting a little stretch in our low back, and only pull as much to where you just feel a stretch, no pain with this. And then lastly, you can kinda up on the side, we can roll over.

And sitting up, you can do just some upper back rotations, so you can cross your arms and just kind of rotate side to side.

Same concept as before, just within a range that’s tolerable and pain-free. So I like to do about 30 of those each side as well.

So to make it simple, we can do 30 of the knee rotations lying down, 30 rotation sitting up and then 30 knee pulls to our chest.

Those are just some really basic ways to kind of manage low back pain or stiffness in the morning, and hopefully get you moving a little bit better, a little bit quicker.

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Medical Reviewer

Brendan Bak, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist
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