7 Simple Ways To Stop Morning Stiffness

7 Simple Ways To Stop Morning Stiffness

If you wake up most mornings getting out of bed with slight or significant pain in your joints, these 7 simple ways to stop morning stiffness may help get you on your feet and possibly through your day. 

Morning stiffness could be the result of certain habits or oversights that are easily remedied once you identify them. This condition is common amongst those with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) of which these tips could be highly useful as well. 

Currently reported by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),

“From 2013–2015, an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) annually had ever been told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia…By 2040, an estimated 78 million (26%) US adults aged 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.”

These are sobering statistics that may prompt you to try some of these 7 simple ways to stop morning stiffness and continue on a path toward joint preservation. 

Anti-Inflammatory Eats

One major contributor to joint pain, particularly morning stiffness, is a diet high in refined sugars and processed foods. These foods, which many people consume later in the day and closer to bedtime, invariably create systemic inflammation along with digestive compromise and weight gain. These three compromises alone are linked to morning joint pain. 

Christopher Hollingsworth, MD, an endovascular surgeon at NYC Surgical Associates commented on inflammation from diet, as reported by The Healthy, 

“Wheat products like white bread and pasta can quickly cause inflammation in the body. Refined wheat flours have been stripped of their slow-digesting fiber and nutrients, which means the body can break down these foods very quickly, the quicker our bodies break down these carbs, the faster our blood sugar levels rise. This causes a spike in insulin, which leads to inflammation.”

Avoid processed foods and sugars. Instead, increase foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties. These foods include:

  • Fish 
  • Beans 
  • Green tea
  • Avocados
  • Grapes, tart cherries, apples and pineapples
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, flax seed, and chia seeds)
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, bok choy, and silverbeet)

Wake and Wiggle

Even though you probably need to get to the bathroom the minute you wake, Healthline recommends taking a short moment to check in with your body first. A little movement and stretching before you rise could alleviate morning stiffness pain. 

Stretch your torso and neck then move and wiggle each of these joints:

  • Hands
  • Wrists
  • Elbows
  • Shoulders

Do the same for your lower body:

  • Toes
  • Ankles
  • Knees
  • Hips

Shower and Scrub

Once you are up, the next best step is a hot shower and scrub. The heat will immediately increase your circulation. If you have a removable shower head, concentrating the pulsing hot water on your joints can help tremendously.

A shower scrub will also add to your circulation, bringing oxygen-rich and nutritive compound blood to low vascular areas, namely your joints. Use a salt scrub made of essential oils like lavender or ginger or a simple washcloth, either way the gentle friction will work very well with the hot water. 

Warm Clothes, Warm Salve

Before you get dressed in the morning, throw your clothes in the drier for a few minutes. Put the setting on high heat and let them tumble for a bit. Once you are ready to get dressed, you’ll be slipping into warm clothes that enhance circulation and lessen joint pain. 

Try a warming salve, lotion or patch before you get dressed. Address joint areas that are a concern and then bring your warming salve with you to re-apply during the day. There are many good ones on the market with some offering scent-free options if you’re concerned about conveying a menthol smell all day. 

Keep Moving

A good majority of people are forced into a sedentary lifestyle due to career, transport, boredom, etc. Don’t succumb to modern society’s physical downfall and make a concerted effort to keep your joints moving instead. 

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Briskly walk for a half hour in the evening and/or morning
  • Bike to work
  • Join a gym and go at least three times per week
  • Get involved in a group sport
  • Take yoga or pilates (start with a “gentle” option class if possible)

You’ll find that if you decide to incorporate some of these habits into your life, not only will your morning stiffness subside but your overall health can certainly improve.

These 7 simple ways to stop morning stiffness are just a few ideas to keep your joints from freezing up and making you miserable. Try these easy fixes to see if you can end up bouncing through your day, rather than crawling.