Five ways you can reduce stiff joints and aches on a morning
I wanted to answer a common question I get asked about being stiff. It’s a question we get asked regularly by clients at the Paul Gough Physio Rooms.
“Paul, do you have any advice for someone like me who isn’t in a lot of pain? I’m just incredibly stiff when I wake up on a morning, and I feel it throughout the day, which means I can’t do things as easily as I’d like. Any advice?”
I’ve go plenty of tips and advice to help reduce stiffness. But first I want to clear up ‘why’ we feel stiff in the first place.
A lot of people we see think that stiffness is something we ‘feel’ as we get older – and while there’s some truth in that, stiffness isn’t always directly related to how old you are.
Not drinking enough fluids and dehydration can also lead to stiff muscles. Muscles are active tissues, which means they’re the kind of tissue that requires the most water in the body. Inactivity is another culprit and another cause can be related to stress.
Here’s five quick and easy tips to add to your daily routine that will help you find a life with less stiffness no matter what age you are.
1. Stretch – daily. Ten minutes on a morning when you first wake-up, and ten minutes on a night before bed. No equipment needed, just you and the comfort of your own home (and some good music if you like).
2. Walk – for at least ten minutes a day (even better walk for twenty if you can). Next time you need to make a long phone call, why not do it on your mobile and walk at the same time?
3. Avoid long periods of sitting – you’re better off laying stretched out on the sofa than you are sitting in a chair for long periods of time. We’re not designed to sit, and stretching out can be a nice relief for muscles and joints, especially if you’ve had a long day at work sat in a chair.
4. Take a warm bath – with Epsom salt or baking soda. The heat and combination of Epsom salt or baking soda will ease your muscles almost immediately and will calm your mind. The perfect way to end your day and unwind, before getting a good night sleep.
5. Drink plenty of water - seventy percent of your muscles are water. So it makes sense that you need to drink plenty of water to support your body and keep it hydrated. My tip – have a glass of water by your bed ready for when you wake up on a morning, that way the first thing you do is drink a glass as soon as you wake to kick-start your day.
It’s sad but a lot of people accept stiffness in their life as though it’s normal and nothing can be done about it. Stiffness in your joints such as your neck, shoulders, back and knees is a sign that something needs to be done by you.
So there you have it, five things you can very easily put into action in your day as soon as today, to reduce stiffness and prevent it from making daily activities difficult to do. Don’t accept stiffness as part of life, if you do and you don’t do anything about it, it’s likely to worsen and affect your ability to move freely.
P.S. If you’re experiencing tightness in your back which restricts your ability to move without pain, click here to download my free back pain tips guide which includes actionable tips I give to my patients at the Paul Gough Physio Rooms. Click here to get your free copy: www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain