Stiffness In The Morning? Here's Five Easy Ways To Prevent it.
Muscle stiffness, first thing in the morning is very common and can happen more as you get older. As well as the neck, shoulders and lower back muscles feeling stiff, any joint or muscle can feel tight and have restricted movement.
For many, it can cause difficulties getting out of bed, dressing and eating breakfast. The tasks that used to take minutes can now take far longer and cause major inconvenience.
So what causes this stiffness? Is there anything you can do about it?
Causes of Stiffness In The Morning
Many sufferers of fibromyalgia, arthritis and rheumatism experience stiffness in the morning, but it's not specifically due to their condition.
There is no one cause, and often doctor's won't be able to diagnose a medical condition. All we know is that the majority of people who are stiff in the morning who don't have the conditions mentioned above, are:
- Have old worn-out bedding
Whilst painkillers and muscle relaxants can relief some of the symptoms, they shouldn't be used for the long-term. And ultimately, they won't address the cause.
How To Prevent Morning Stiffness
From reading the list above of probable causes, the steps to prevent it are pretty obvious.
1. Exercise and Activity
This is one of the best ways to combat stiffness in the morning in my view. It doesn't have to be vigorous to be effective. Half an hour walking is often enough to reduce morning stiffness. Physical activity is vital for our health and well-being, the less we move, the more health problems we will suffer.
However, whilst exercise is good, I see many people in my practice, who over-due their exercising and end up in a worse state! See my tips on walking for fitness for further help.
2. Check your mattress and bedding
An old, worn-out mattress gives very little support and can lead to muscle fatigue and stiffness. Many people now swear by memory foam bedding as they offer superior support exactly where it's needed. For more advice, see choosing a memory foam mattress.
If your mattress is fine, you may want to consider a new pillow, see here for more on memory foam.
3. Check your sleeping posture
Spending eight hours in the wrong position won't help your body one bit. Check my page for finding the best sleeping posture for more help.
4. Eat a better diet
A balanced diet is essential for our health. I'm not qualified to offer advice on eating a sensible diet, but most of us know the basics such as eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, not too much meat, sugar and processed food etc.
For the latest advice please visit Eating a Balanced Diet.
Eating well and being active will help you to lose excess body fat and also prevent morning stiffness.
4. Improve Your Posture
A poor posture places undues stress on your joints and muscles. Being more active can help, but the good news is that you don't have to spend hours at a time doing dull corrective exercises to improve your posture.
You're welcome to try my free course of lessons which can help improve your movement - to find out more and to sign-up, see my
Body Awareness Course
You may also like to try my
Complete Posture Program
that has easy-to-follow, proven techniques to get a better posture, based on my fifteen years of experience teaching The Alexander Technique.
5. Get A Good Nights Sleep
Having a routine can help with winding down at the end of the day. Having a warm shower, doing a few gentle stretches and having a drink of water will prepare you for a good sleep.
Check your room temperature is too hot or cold and make sure you're not lying in a draft. Often, reading a good book in bed can help to take your mind of anything troubling you and relax your mind.