FEELING GREAT: Stiffness in joints is your warning sign that something needs doing

For many visitors to our clinics, the message is simple: it’s all about adopting healthy habits.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 12:00 am
We’re not designed to sit, and stretching out can be a nice relief for muscles and joints.
We’re not designed to sit, and stretching out can be a nice relief for muscles and joints.

Get out of the bad habits and introduce good ones. It’s an easy outlook to take on board really and you will soon start to feel the benefits.

I’ve got a few suggestions here for you. But first let me answer this common question about being stiff which I get asked regularly. The answer and tips I’ll provide are done to help provide clarity and clear up the confusion that getting stiffer as you grow older doesn’t have to come with a lack of choice. There are things you can do.

Anyhow, here’s the question: Paul, do you have any advice for someone like me who ISN’T in a lot of pain? I’m just incredibly stiff every day and suffering in a way that means I can’t do things as easily as I would like?

With that in mind, here are four quick and easy tips to add to your daily routine that will help you find a life with less stiffness, whatever age you are.

Swim - daily if possible but at least twice a week. Problems like arthritis are multiplied when you stop or slow down. Swimming offers a very simple and safe way of keeping joints moving and a regular dose of moving in the water is way better than any medication or magic pills that promise joint lubrication.

Stretch - daily. My tip, 7 minutes on a morning when you first get up, 7 minutes on a night before bed (doing yoga just before bed can help you get a much better night’s sleep, too.)

Avoid long periods of sitting - you’re better off stretching full out on the couch than you are sitting in a chair for long periods. We’re NOT designed to sit, and stretching out can be a nice relief for muscles and joints, particularly if you’ve had a long day spent in a chair. If you are in a chair, sitting for long periods, use a foot stool.

Walk – for at least 20 minutes a day. Next time you need to make a long phone call, why not do it on your mobile and take a walk at the same time?

The sad thing is that most people accept stiffness in their life as though it’s normal. Stiffness in joints such as your lower back, neck, knees or ankles is a warning sign that something needs to be done - by you. The day you accept stiffness into your life is a bad one – thereafter, it will not only remain with you, it will get worse, and quickly.