For people suffering from inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, waking up in the morning could be brutal. An issue with the joints comes with stiffness that is usually more severe upon waking up because of inflammation.
The main reason for this is that the production of inflammatory cells increases at night due to the circadian rhythms of the body. Also, being still for most of the time you are sleeping adds to the discomfort and pain in the morning.
Consider this no-fuss morning routine to begin each day with as much flexibility and less pain as possible.
Wake Up Earlier
Depending on your symptoms’ severity, you might need some more time to get your body moving upon waking. With this in mind, try to wake up at least 15 minutes earlier.
Scrambling to get up and move will not give your body sufficient time to “wake up,” which, in turn, could make your stiffness and pain worse. On the other hand, starting your day without rushing may result in your joints warming up before you hit the ground running.
Do Some Basic Stretches
Even a couple of minutes doing gentle and easy stretches can aid in loosening your stiff joints and muscles. Try easy yoga positions such as downward dog, upward dog, cat/cow, warrior positions, and sun salutations.
Just make sure that you do not overtax yourself and that you are not feeling pain when stretching. You can also consult your physical therapy doctor in Chandler, AZ for recommendations.
Embrace the Heat
According to the Arthritis Foundation, simple home treatments that involve the application of heat such as heating pads, baths, and showers can soothe stiff and painful muscles and joints by helping to improve circulation.
Eat a Joint-Friendly Breakfast
Foods rich in antioxidants, omega-3s, and phytochemicals have the ability to help your body calm inflammation. If you must have your breakfast cereal, toss in some walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, and your favorite fruits.
Keep Yourself Hydrated Throughout the Day
Think of water as oil for your joints, so you will need plenty of it to lubricate your creaky joints properly. Always have water handy on your nightstand and make sure to drink lots of water throughout your day.
Take All Your Meds at the Exact Same Time Daily
Being consistent with your medication schedule is vital. Having a schedule will make taking meds easier since you will see it as a part of your morning routine instead of something you have to constantly remind yourself of.
Do note, though, that certain meds must always be taken with food. Make sure to ask your doctor if some of your meds should be taken at a different time.
Immobility, pain, and stiffness upon waking up are hallmarks of having arthritis that they are literally part of the arthritis diagnostic criteria. But it does not have to be. Incorporating the tips above in your morning routine can help get your joints more ready to face the day ahead.