Dr Arthritis Asks: How Do Your Joints Feel In The Morning?
For most people, mornings are all about hitting your snooze button as many times as you can before you realize you have to jump out of bed, rush to shower and get dressed, grab whatever is in your pantry for breakfast, and head out to work praying that you don’t get stuck in traffic.
It’s the same for arthritis sufferers, except we’re snoozing because we probably didn’t get much sleep the night before. We’d love to jump out of bed and rush through our morning routine, but our bones and joints feel stiff and painful. We wish it were that easy to just grab breakfast and go, but we have to be careful about what we eat. And before we even reach our car and start worrying about rush hour traffic, we have to first worry about whether or not this gnawing pain in our joints will pass or will it escalate into a flare.
No matter how long you’ve been suffering with this illness, arthritis in the morning is something that we will never get used to. And the most frustrating this about it is, the very thing that can help prevent and reduce arthritis symptoms in the morning—loosening up stiff and aching joints through movement—feels nearly impossible to do.
So, what now? Do we just let arthritis get the best of us?
Of course not.
To help, we’ve compiled the best tips we’ve come across from this community about how they can make morning more manageable–
1. Take your medicine before you even get out of bed
Before bedtime, remember to bring a glass of water and your morning medicine to your bedside. When you wake up, take your pills and lie back down and rest before starting your day. Give it an hour or so—set a second alarm if you have to—your meds would’ve already kicked in and it makes it so much easier to get out of bed and go through your morning routine.
2. Slip into compression gloves
A lot of arthritis sufferers wake up with incredibly painful hands in the morning. An easy solution is to slip into a pair of compression gloves. It should help with circulation and ease inflammation while providing much needed support as you start your day.
3. Do gentle stretches before getting out of bed
Before you get out of bed, take a few minutes to stretch. Don’t just stretch your back or neck, make sure you also do your smaller joints to decrease the pain and stiffness.
4. Run a hot bath or shower
Give yourself time to relax and get ready for your day while running a hot bath or shower. Soak or stay under the water for at least 10 minutes—the steam and heat can really help loosen up muscles and joints.
5. Give heating pads and electric blankets a try
At night, turn down the temperature in your room because it’s easier to find sleep in a cold room that it is when you’re sweating through your pajamas. But because cold doesn’t do our joints any favors, make sure you use an electric blanket or place heating pads in areas where you wake up with most pain, like your hands, neck or knees.
If you have more tips to share so we can add to this list, feel free to tell us all about it and leave a comment below.