A common complaint we hear from new patients is that they suffer from morning stiffness. Morning stiffness, or “first movement” pain, usually presents itself anywhere from 15-45 minutes after waking up. As the day goes on, the stiffness subsides, only to make an unfortunate appearance in the evening. Here’s how chiropractic can help.
Morning Stiffness Causes
Most commonly, morning stiffness is caused by arthritis, which can be determined by an x-ray. You might think staying still will make sore joints feel better, but movement is key to keeping them lubricated and when you are sleep, they rest for a long period of time. That means fluid can build up along with inflammation, which causes joints to stiffen. This can also occur when you sit for a long time. Pain and stiffness aren’t limited to those that suffer from arthritis, so it is important that we do an evaluation to determine the root of the issues in order to create the best treatment plan for your unique needs.
Common symptoms of morning stiffness/spinal arthritis include:
An aching pain in the area of damage
Loss of flexibility
Hunched over or altered posture
Aching or tingling from pressure on nearby nerves
Inability to do certain tasks such as picking something up from off the floor or tying shoes
Certain movements that increase pain in the affected area
Sound coming from the joint with particular movements
How To Help with Stiffness/Spinal Arthritis
For morning stiffness and spinal arthritis, there are quite a few measures you can take to find relief.
Keep moving! Sure, you might think staying still is the best medicine but movement will help lubricate your joints. Be aware of your own tolerance and you may need to rest, but be sure to move around when you can.
Give your body time to wake up! Just like your brain needs some time to wake up, your body does too. After periods of prolonged rest or sleeping, try doing some gentle stretches and move slowly. A warm shower is also beneficial first thing in the morning.
Eat up! Your diet should include anti-inflammatory foods like green tea, berries, and ginger.
Try supplements! Supplements with glucosamine and omega 3’s may be just the boost your body needs to overcome stiffness.
Keep up with chiropractic care! Regular chiropractic adjustments keep you in proper alignment and prevent added pressure from being put on the nerves. Chiropractic care will also help decrease muscle tension and increase your range of motion to help keep stiffness at bay.
If you are experiencing pain and stiffness in the mornings, we are here to help. Click here to contact us and learn more about how chiropractic can benefit you!