Strategies to Ease Morning Stiffness

Strategies to Ease Morning Stiffness 1 - Moon Physical Therapy

Try using additional pillows for proper body alignment in bed.

This article originally appeared in the Feb-Mar 2017 issue of Generations Magazine.

Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning? Or taking longer for joints and muscles to loosen due to stiffness?

The basic causes of morning stiffness are lack of physical activity, not sleeping properly and chronic conditions like arthritis.

Try these strategies to loosen up:

Five minutes of movement in bed can ease discomfort. Performing simple and controlled stretches for 30 seconds before bed and after waking up is especially important. Anything less than 20 seconds will not allow the muscle fibers and tissues to lengthen.

Heat therapy. Use a heating pad while stretching in bed or perform a range-of-motion exercises in a warm shower

Strategies to Ease Morning Stiffness 2 - Moon Physical Therapy

Additional pillows ensure proper alignment. Lay on your back or side with a pillow between your knees or in front to prevent rounding. The fetal position causes excessive spine curvature. Lying on your stomach stresses the neck.

Use a proper pillow: Pillows piled too high push your chin into your chest; too low elevates your chin, compressing your upper spine. Place a towel roll under your lower back for support. Good night… and sweet dreams.