Stiffness in the morning is a common complaint from new patients that plaques us all! Also known as “first movement pain,” morning stiffness is present in the body from 15-45-minutes after waking up. However, as the day advances the stiffness disappears but often returns in the evening. The following is a guide to help you learn more about morning stiffness and how to treat it.
Causes of Morning Stiffness
The biggest cause is arthritis which can be uncovered through a simple x-ray. The issue is that as you sleep, the joints are at rest resulting in a collection of fluid which leads to inflammation and stiffness. The same effect occurs after sitting for lengthy periods. Pain and stiffness also occur in patients without arthritis, so it is crucial to ascertain the root cause to create a proper treatment plan.
Common symptoms of morning stiffness include:
· Aches and pain in the damaged area
· Altered posture
· Decrease in flexibility
· Increase in pain of the area from specific movements
· Limitation of certain tasks like picking an object off the floor or tying your shoes
· Sound from the joins when performing certain movements
· Tingling from pressure on neighboring nerves
If you have any of these symptoms, fear not, there are steps to take to aid in relief such as:
Eat Specific Foods
Anti-inflammatory foods like berries, ginger, green tea, and turmeric will aid in recovery.
Give Your Body Time to Awaken
The body requires time to wake up, just like the brain. When you first wake up, perform a few gentle stretches and move slowly. A hot shower when you first wake up will loosen the joints.
Maintain Chiropractic Care
Maintaining regular appointments with a chiropractor will improve your alignment without adding pressure onto the nerves and can increase your range of motion while decreasing muscular tension.
While you feel like staying still, believe it or not, movement will help. You will likely need to take breaks, but movement is the key to recovery.
By taking glucosamine and omega 3’s, you can give your body the boost it needs to end morning stiffness and pain.