Wondering why you feel stiffness in your spine in the morning? Lets look at the anatomy of the spine to find our answer. The disc is a structure located between two block-like bones called vertebrae. The centre of the disc has the consistency of toothpaste and the outer layer is made up of criss- crossed fibres, like the layer of a radial tyre. The majority of a disc is made up of water (80%). These features enable the disc to deform and act as a shock absorber. At night, when our discs are free from gravity’s pressure, they soak up nutrients and water from the blood. Therefore, in the morning, the spine will be more mechanically stiff due to the swelling of the discs over night. Your muscles in the back also have an effect on morning stiffness. At resting position, the muscles shorten and inhibit movement to protect the musculoskeletal tissues after prolonged inactivity. Disc swelling and muscle shortening over night both increase pressure in the spine. This is why people with a disc injury feel more pain in the morning. Therefore, if have pain or stiffness in the morning, gentle lumbar (low back) movements before rising will expel some fluid from the disc, including inflammatory material, reducing discal pressure. These movements in conjunction with chiropractic care will soon make morning stiffness a thing of the past.