Stiff Morning Joints
The most common cause of morning stiffness is worn joints or muscle tightness that is mistaken for joint pain. Sometimes it is also an indicator of inflammation or arthritis. Joints do not age the same way that people do. Joints can age due to overuse, also known as wear and tear. This can happen at any age, though it is more common in the elderly or those who are overweight. As joints age, cartilage, which is the cushioning in your joints, dries out and stiffens. Joints also lose lubrication. This can lead to weaker muscles and stiff tendons as well, and they will tighten during sleep. While you cannot reverse the effects of joint aging, there are certain things that can be done to ease symptoms or treat any ailments that are causing the problem.
Does Joint Stiffness Mean I Have Arthritis?
Joint stiffness is obviously an indicator in various types of arthritis. However, morning stiffness does not always mean that you have arthritis. It is crucial to know the signs and symptoms other than just joint stiffness that go along with the three types of arthritis; rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.
In particular, take note of when and how often joint pain and stiffness occurs. If it doesn’t seem to have a specific trigger and happens more often than not, then it may be time to see a physician to discuss the possibility of testing for arthritis. However, joint pain and stiffness after intense activity is not necessarily a sign of any illness.
Overcoming Morning Stiffness
There are many ways in which you can adjust your lifestyle in order to combat morning stiffness. Try some or all of the following:
- Be sure that not only do you get enough deep sleep to repair and recharge your body but that you also have the correct mattress for your body type.
- Make sure you do not get too cold as sensitive joints become stiff when it is cold.
- Do some easy stretches in the morning before getting out of bed.
- Stay hydrated.
- Try healthy joint diet by cutting down on carbohydrate intake and toxins such as aspartame, unnatural dyes, and preservatives.
- Lower your stress levels. You may try meditating or spending just a few minutes to yourself a day to do something you love.
- Get regular exercise but not so much that you hurt your joints.