Do you wake up in the morning feeling stiffness or after sitting try to stand up and feel stiff?

So why are you feeling so stiff? There can be several reasons for stiffness in specific areas of your body or just general stiffness. As we age, the amount of fluid lubricating our joints decreases and cartilage may also become thinner. Arthritis and lack of activity/movement can also cause increased stiffness. Also, if only certain muscles are being used that can also cause tightness and of course weakness in other muscles 

Why is the stiffness worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for awhile? Because those or the times when we are not moving for long periods of time. The fluid our joints need to be lubricated comes from movement.

So the simple answer to stiffness is keep moving!  Just remember “motion is lotion.”

Now finding the right movements is key because you don’t want painful movements.

Avoid those long periods of sitting or at least break them up with some movement every 30 minutes. 

If you are sitting for long periods of time or are always stiff when you get up after sitting, try to do some movements seated before you get up. 

Examples include – ankle circles or pointing your toes up and down to loosen your ankles, extend your leg out so that your leg/knee is straight and then bend it and repeat it several times. You can also try to round your back and then arch/extend your back into a nice tall postural position and repeat several times. Moving your leg to the side and then back and switching to the other leg and repeating several times can also help.

Here are some other ways to decrease joint and muscle stiffness that you can add into your daily routine:

  1. Daily stretching, could be stretching done before getting out of bed
  2. Stay hydrated – helps joints stay lubricated
  3. Move frequently throughout the day- doesn’t have to be for long periods of time or anything strenuous
  4. Stay warm – take a hot shower, wear layers, possibly crank up the heat in your house or wear extra layers, heating pad or hot packs can also help with this. Warmth increases blood flow and decreases stiffness. Cold causes muscles to tighten.

If you have questions or would like further guidance on movements that can help decrease stiffness feel free to reach out.