Aching joints and stiffness (in particular morning stiffness) are well-known to those who suffer from arthritis — and in particular those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. However, as we age, it becomes a common problem for most of people.
Many seniors feel enough stiffness and pain in the morning that it can be difficult for them to get out of bed.
However, by following a few simple rules and developing a few healthy habits, people can ease the difficulty of morning stiffness.
Here are 5 ways to ease morning stiffness:
1. Don’t jump out of bed
Remain in bed for several minutes after you wake up, and move your legs and arms slowly and gently. With no weight pressing on your joints, you can begin to safely loosen up your joints. If possible, you could even extend this simple exercise to moving other parts of your body, for example your neck and shoulders, wrists, hands, and fingers.
2. Some like it hot
Heat therapy can be very helpful in alleviating the pain associated with morning stiffness. A heating pad for an especially stiff joint, or a warm bath or shower can provide enormous benefit.
3. The homestretch
If you have permission from your doctor, gentle stretching — even while still in bed — can be very effective for morning stiffness.
Simply stretch the joints that hurt or are especially stiff, and hold the stretch for about 20 seconds, being extremely careful not to overstretch.
In particular, if you experience pain at any time, then you are not stretching but overstretching, and you should stop immediately.
Getting guidance from a well-trained physical therapist can be very helpful in learning appropriate stretches and proper technique.
4. You are what you eat
As has been shown in numerous studies, a healthy diet has an enormous effect on almost every aspect of your health. Eating properly can reduce the inflammation that can cause joint stiffness.
5. Move it or lose it
Exercising — even for a few minutes a day — can have an enormous effect in terms of relieving the effects of morning stiffness. A well-trained physical therapist can teach you exercises that will help your morning stiffness.
The main point to remember is that you can play an active role in alleviating the discomfort of morning stiffness. As you incorporate these tips, you may just find that not only does your morning stiffness go away more quickly, but that it doesn’t even reappear the next day.
The Takeaway: by playing an active role in your own well-being, you can enjoy your golden years in the best possible health.
At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and
Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, we take a multidisciplinary approach to
all aspects of care for older people. Our restorative
approach maximizes function and mobility in a positive and upbeat atmosphere.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.