Do you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning because of too much pain? Does it take an hour or two for your body to “warm up” and your joints and muscles to loosen before you can tackle the tasks of the day? If you answered yes, you are not alone.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, fibromyalgia affects 3 to 6 million Americans. That’s 1 in 50 Americans, with seven times more frequency in women than in men. And according to the NHIS, by 2030 an estimated 67 million Americans are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
Morning stiffness is one of the more common complaints doctors hear about from patients with fibromyalgia, arthritis , rheumatism and those whose bodies no longer rebound after a day of activity even gardening like it used to.
Don’t let morning stiffness cut your day short by starting it later… And while most people reach for muscle relaxants like Motrin, and pain relievers like Aleve to get them going, you don’t need to.
The Main Causes of Morning Stiffness
The basic causes of morning stiffness are lack of daily physical activity, being overweight, having a poor diet, not sleeping properly, and being in an environment that tends to be cold and/or damp.
Exercising on a daily basis (even walking while swinging your arms) is a great way to release those feel-good endorphins, get the blood moving, and help clear nasty toxins from the body.
Being overweight causes you to carry unnecessary pounds, which puts strain on your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
A poor diet that is high in simple carbohydrates causes weak muscles, bad posture, and lethargy.
A poor sleeping posture can lock your body in a bad position for hours, causing reduced blood flow to the local muscles, and a buildup of lactic acid, causing stiffness.
Living or working in a cold or damp environment causes muscles to stiffen because the cold or damp affects the blood flow throughout the body.
Relieving Morning Stiffness
You’ll be happy to know that what is causing your morning stiffness can be avoided or corrected… Here are 10 easy things you can do to make a big difference in your life.
These simple tips followed with a little dedication, along with some minor lifestyle changes and improvements to your living environment, can help you overcome morning stiffness in no time.
[Ed. Note: Robert Chu, PhD, L.Ac, QME, has studied the Chinese martial and healing arts since childhood. He specializes in Master Tung Acupuncture to help patients with musculoskeletal disorders, pain, infertility, cancer treatment related side effects, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and thyroid issues. Dr. Chu is a contributing editor and on the advisory board for.]
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