Arthritis can affect people all through the year, however the winter months can make it harder to manage the symptoms – especially first thing in the morning. Here’s our top five tips to help you move more freely in the AM:
- Keep warm – it starts with your sleeping environment. You may wish to wear socks and gloves, or have a heat pack, in bed to keep your joints warm. If that’s too much to begin with, keep them handy in case you wake up cold during the night. You should also try to minimise cold drafts coming into the room. Start the day with a warm shower to ease stiffness, soothe sore joints and help you relax.
- Gentle exercise – gentle movement first thing in the morning can help loosen up stiff muscles and joints. Set aside a few minutes to stretch your back, hips, knees, arms, shoulders, neck and hands to give you a more limber start to the day. Remember that though you should feel a slight pulling sensation or discomfort while stretching, the stretch should never hurt.
- Remember the ‘three Ps’ to ease into your day
- Pace your morning activities. You can do this by breaking tasks into smaller components, taking rest breaks and trying not to push yourself beyond your activity threshold.
- Prioritise what needs to be done, and what you enjoy doing. Finding a balance of both is important and good for mental health.
- Plan by spreading the demanding tasks out over the day. You don’t have to do them all at once.
- Reduce the strain on your hands and wrists by looking into adaptive devices, such as tap turners, bottle/jar openers and utensils with built-up handles. There are many available – you may wish to talk to your doctor or occupational therapist about the devices that would benefit you.
- Consider how you might perform a task differently is stiffness is an issue. For example, you might find it easier to stand rather than sit for some activities.
- Relax – try not to get too frustrated by morning stiffness. Literature shows that lower levels of pain tolerance are often associated with frustration and anger. So take a couple of minutes for relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation or music – whatever works best for you.
If you find that morning stiffness is an ongoing issue for you, consult with your general practitioner. You may also wish to try our Osteo-Restore joint health supplement. If you’re already familiar with our animal products, we call it “4CYTE for humans.”
Osteo-Restore is powered by our exclusive active ingredient, Epiitalis. Epiitalis has achieved international patents for stimulating healthy cartilage production. Osteo-Restore also provides pain relief, strengthens bones and is intended for anyone with stiff or arthritic joints.