Morning stiffness is not uncommon for those who suffer from joint or back/neck pain. This is especially true for working mums who sit at their desks for long hours, attend long meetings or work travels and also take care of the kids and the house. In this blog lets discuss five simple tips to help reduce your morning stiffness and enjoy a pain-free start to your day.
When you wake up in the morning use a hot pack before or as soon as you get out of bed. If time is limited do a hot shower instead. When you apply a hot pack, it causes the blood vessels in the area to expand and this causes the blood to flow into the area. This flow of blood brings with it an influx of nutrients and oxygen, which helps with healing the area. It also washes away the pain producing substances that may have accumulated there. Applying a hot pack can help to ease the spasm in the muscles and thus relieve morning stiffness. HERE are the hot packs that I use.
Gentle stretches when you wake up can also help to relieve morning stiffness. Stretching exercises can also help to lengthen tight muscles as well as activate the body’s endogenous opioid system. This encourages the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphin, enkephalins and dynorphins, which act as painkillers and mood boosters (also known as the happy hormones).
Thirdly consider your sleeping posture at night. Sleep is essential for optimal body function. It is the time when your body rejuvenates and refreshes itself from the stresses of the day. Your body can relax the best when our joints are placed in a neutral position. When you are in a good sleeping posture all your joints and spine are in a good alignment, thereby reducing the chances of morning stiffness. You can watch this video to learn more about good sleeping postures:
It is very important to use a pillow when you are sleeping or else it is not easy to achieve a good posture at the neck. During sleep, head neck and shoulder joints should be in neutral alignment with the spine and this can be easily achieved by using a pillow that is customised to your body type. HERE are the pillows that I use.
Sometimes the activities of the previous day can also lead to or contribute towards stiffness in the morning. Some gentle stretches and applying a cold pack before sleeping, specially if you feel ache or soreness in your muscles helps to ease the inflammation that has accumulated in the joints and spine (back/neck) throughout the day. When you apply a cold pack the blood vessel in the area shrink or constrict (vasoconstriction). This slows down the blood flow and helps to wash out the swelling and inflammation in the injured area. HERE are the hot packs that I use.
Last but the most important point is to lower the inflammation in your body. If the joints, back and neck are feeling stiff every morning there are chances that they are inflamed and this is the basic cause of the pain and stiffness. This needs to be addressed. HERE is a 11 day (free) program that helped me lower the inflammation in my knees substantially despite being told to be ready for srthritis when I was in my 20's! I have also managed to take my back and neck pain down to a zero with this 11 days jumpstart. And honestly, 11 days is not a big deal. we can do anything for 11 days!!
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