If you’re one of the many people who suffer from morning joint stiffness, you know how frustrating it can be to try to get your day started when your body feels like it’s been glued together overnight. And with the onset of colder weather, it can be even harder to get moving. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help reduce or potentially eliminate morning joint stiffness.
Here are 10 tips to get you started:
1. Get moving as soon as you wake up
Don’t just sit or lie in bed when you first wake up. Getting your body moving. It may be the last thing you want to do first thing in the morning, but getting your body moving can help loosen up stiff joints. Just taking a walk or doing some simple stretches can help loosen up stiff joints and get your blood flowing.
2. Take a hot shower or bath
The heat can help relax your muscles and ease joint pain. If you don’t have time for a shower or bath, apply a heating pad to the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise helps increase flexibility and range of motion, both of which can help reduce stiffness.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, which can lead to less joint pain and stiffness. Foods that are high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines, can be particularly helpful.
5. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is critical for function and performance. When you’re well-rested, your body is better able to repair itself, which can lead to less pain and stiffness.
6. Manage stress
Stress can aggravate pain and inflammation, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress. Some helpful stress-relieving activities include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
7. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated throughout the day is necessary for everyone, but it can also help reduce morning joint stiffness. When your body is properly hydrated, your joints are better lubricated, which can lead to less pain and stiffness.
8. Apply ice
If you’re experiencing particularly stiff joints, applying ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Be sure to wrap the ice in a towel or other cloth to avoid direct contact with your skin.
9. Take over-the-counter pain medication
If you’re struggling with morning joint stiffness, over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help. Just be sure to follow the directions on the package and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
10. Try a holistic approach
There are a number of natural joint supplements that can help reduce inflammation and pain. Iovera° and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are two holistic pain management solutions offered at Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics.
If you’re struggling with morning joint stiffness, try incorporating some of these tips into your routine. You may find that one or more of them works well for you. And remember, if you have any concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor. If you struggle with joint stiffness and are looking for a solution, schedule a consultation with Dr. Strasburger today.