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Massage/Back Pain in Morning


Hello Kathryn, recently I've noticed a weird pain in my back that only happens in the early morning. See, I always stretch out as soon as I wake up, but now, whenever I curl my spine forward in the morning it feels like my vertebrae are pulling apart(I don't know how else to describe it). Once again, this only happens when I stretch in the morning. I am still in high school so it is not an age-related back issue, and I didn't do anything violent to my back at all before or after the pain started. Got any ideas on what the issue might be?

Hi Jonathan,

My best long-distance guess is that your muscles are 'cold' (not warmed up yet from moving) and that is why you feel this sensation.  

I don't know whether you mean curling forward or backward, but when you flex your spine in any direction you actually are separating your vertebrae on the outside of the movement.  This is not necessarily a bad thing; it's good to keep the spine flexible but be sure to move it in ALL directions not only one.

Also, you may wish to do subtle movements to warm the muscles before doing full stretches, especially in the morning when you wake.

I hope this helps.  Thank you for asking!



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Kathryn Merrow


I can respond to questions about migraines and headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand-wrist-arm pain, upper back pain, and other assorted and miscellaneous pain symptoms. I can also respond to general questions about massage and how to select a massage therapist.


I have been a massage therapist since 1992 specializing primarily in pain relief techniques. I utilize the St. John Method of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy (NMT) and other bodywork modalities. I'm The Pain Relief Coach online.

Professional Member of American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCTMB)


My initial training in massage was at Health Enrichment Center in Lapeer, Michigan. I have had advanced training or workshops with Kurashova Institute for Studies in Physical Medicine, St. John Neuromuscular Institute of Pain Relief, Center for Self-Healing and many others. I now share my education and experience as a Massage Instructor and Pain Relief Coach.

Awards and Honors
The highest honor I receive is when someone tells me that they finally understand why they had pain, that they took action and that their pain is either less or is totally gone.

Past/Present Clients
I have done well over 20,000 therapeutic massage sessions, primarily with clients with various types of pain or painful syndromes.

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