What Causes Morning Stiffness and 10 Ways to Get Rid of it?
Is getting out of bed a difficult and humongous task for you? Do you find it unbearable to get out of the bed the first thing in the morning because of the pain which you feel? Do you feel better after an hour or two after your body has had the chance to "warm up" and your muscles and joints have had time to loosen up before you face your day? If the answer is yes, then you will be surprised as well as a little bit relieved to know that you are not alone in your misery.
Morning stiffness is one of the common symptoms among people suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism and those individuals whose bodies are not able revive like before after a day of activity, such as working in office, gardening etc. There are many methods of relieving morning stiffness and you do not necessarily have to shorten your day by starting it late. Many people opt for muscle relaxants, such as Motrin and pain killers like Aleve, to start their day relatively normally; however, there are other alternatives than this.
What Causes Morning Stiffness?
Some of the basic causes for morning stiffness include lack of physical activity on a daily basis, being obese/overweight, consuming a poor diet, not getting proper or enough sleep, and living in an environment which is cold/damp.
- Exercise, as we all have heard and read so many times, is important to do on a daily basis. Simple exercises, such as walking and swinging your arms, is sufficient to release those feel-good endorphins, in getting the blood circulation better and clearing the toxins from the body.
- Consuming a poor diet, which is high in carbohydrates, results in weakening of the muscles, causes lethargy and bad posture leading to morning stiffness.
- Having excessive weight means that you have to carry unnecessary pounds with you, which puts a lot of strain on the joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments. Excessive body weight can be a cause for to morning stiffness.
- A poor or bad sleeping posture locks or cramps your body in a bad position for many hours when you are sleeping and this leads to decreased blood flow to the local muscles, accumulation of lactic acid and results in stiffness in the body on waking up.
- Working or living in a cold or damp environment causes stiffening of the muscles and affects the blood circulation throughout the body.
Top 10 Ways to Get Rid of Morning Stiffness
There is no need to lose heart, as the causes of morning stiffness can be rectified or avoided so that you can lead a relatively pain free and easy life. Following the below mentioned tips along with making minor lifestyle changes helps greatly in getting rid of the dreaded morning stiffness.
Here are some top 10 easy methods which you can do to get rid of morning stiffness and make a difference in your life.
- Sleep ....sleep …sleep…there can't be enough stressed placed on the amount and quality of the sleep which is important for a person's well being. It is imperative to get enough deep sleep so that the body has the chance to rejuvenate and repair itself after a long day's work. Try to relax before sleeping and banish all the worries, nagging conversations or other tasks, which need to be handled. There's enough time tomorrow to tackle all these problems. Sound sleep is important to feel fresh and relaxed the day after and helps a great deal in relieving morning stiffness. Also, posture of the body is also important. It is important to avoid sleeping on your stomach as it places a lot of unnecessary stress on the spine and lower back. It is advisable to sleep on your back or on your side as an optimum sleeping posture to avoid getting morning stiffness.
- If the bedroom is drafty, then sealing the windows and door helps. If the room is cold, then using extra blankets and a space heater helps in keeping the room warm and in preventing the dampness or the cold from stiffening your body.
- Performing some easy stretches when lying in the bed, then sitting up in the bed, bending to the sides and front helps in stretching and loosening the stiff muscles. These stretches also help in improving the circulation and lessening the stiffening of the muscles in the morning hours.
- Taking a hot shower helps in promoting blood circulation, inducing sweating and relaxing the muscle spasms. It is beneficial to just stand under hot water, relax and let go of all the tensions. Hot shower can be helpful in getting rid of the morning stiffness.
- Doing some mild knee bends after taking the shower also helps in loosening the joints and relieving morning stiffness. Try to stretch as far as possible without falling down. You can also hold on to something for support if needed.
- The following movements help in exercising the majority of the skeletal muscles and relieving morning stiffness. Hold onto a table, counter or a chair for support. Breathe out and squat as low as you can, then breathe in and stand up again. Doing 10 repetitions of these, first thing in the morning, help with blood circulation and in lubricating the creaky joints.
- It is important to follow a healthy diet in order to get rid of morning stiffness. Carbohydrates intake should be reduced. You can read the labels before buying the food. This will help in avoiding toxins. Try to eliminate foods, which contain artificial color, artificial flavors/sweeteners and enriched white flour. In case you do not identify anything or have difficulty in pronouncing it, then it is better to avoid consuming it.
- Relax and incorporate some stress management techniques and coping mechanisms so you can sleep more soundly and not be awake at night thinking about your troubles. It is better to learn how to deal with the toxic people in your life. This will make your life easy and help you in sleeping better along with reducing the muscle spasms caused by stress, which result in pain in the morning.
- It is important to dress appropriately for the cold winter months. So, it is better to sleep in sweats or flannel pajamas to avoid the cold air which causes the joints and muscles to stiffen up.
- To get rid of morning stiffness, it is important to exercise regularly and do something physically active with your body. This will not only improve your physical health, but also your mental health.