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Why Are My Joints So Stiff in the
Morning?
--- Causes and Top 7
Natural Remedies

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November 27, 2016
By
Ariadne Weinberg,  Featured Columnist






Stiff joints in the morning is something of a mystery. Why,
when you your joints felt perfectly fine the night before, so
they mysteriously stiffen up as you sleep?

If you've experienced it, you'll know it: that feeling of your
morning being partially ruined or simply a drag, because your
joints just won't wake up. This isn't just for seniors, although
joint stiffness in the morning has a strong correlation with age,
often with between 25-76% of the those over 65 experiencing
it, and up to 83-93% of people in residential care suffering
from joint pain, according to a 2016 report by P. Paisley from
the Euromed pharmaceutical group.


Unfortunately, if you're older, you're much more likely to  wake
up with creaky joints. According to Paisley, joint pain occurs in
an average of 79% of women and 53% of men.

What causes stiff joints in the morning? Joint stiffness can be
caused by  a variety of things, sometimes correlated, sometimes
not, to old age, including but not limited to:
osteoarthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis, vascular lines pain,
nocturnal cramps,
fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain.

Joints can stiffen up during the night if you are not well
hydrated. Make sure you drink enough water at dinner to carry
you through until the wee hours of the morning.



Typically, morning stiffness lasts for about 30 minutes in the
morning.

However, if there is inflammation in the joint, the stiffness can
last longer. There are some methods you can use to warm up
the joint, and other techniques that are more holistic. Read on
to discover how to be more comfortable in the morning.






























1.
Wake Up Like a Cat --Do Warm-up Stretches


California-based physical therapist Dr. Robert Chu, PHD stands
behind this method. Your physical therapist or doctor can
recommend some specific ones.

Keep in mind that they should be pretty gentle, as your joints
are just waking up, and depending on your condition, intense
stretching could do more harm than good. Chu recommends
bending to the front and sides slightly, to get the blood
flowing. After you are more warmed up, and perhaps after
taking a bath or shower, you can try knee bends.

If you have trouble balancing, hold on to something for
support, such as the counter, table, or a chair.

Exhale and squat as low as possible, then inhale and stand
again.

Do 10 in the morning to get the joints less creaky and blood
flowing. Be sure to ask a health professional about your
specific abilities before trying these stretches.





2.
Take a Relaxing Bath with Epsom Salts


This is a great wake-up ritual and pre-stretch activity. Dr. Josh
Axe, Tennessee-based clinical nutritionist and owner of Exodus
Health Center, recommends taking an epsom-salt bath because
they are high in magnesium and sulfates and easily absorbed
through skin, and quickly reduce inflammation. For best results,
add 2 cups of salt to warm bathwater and soak your body for
at least 20 minutes. You can also add lavender or other
essential oil to your bath to make it more relaxing and
enjoyable.





3- Sleep well





Sometimes joint pain is made more agonizing simply because
your shuteye wasn't up to par. Firstly, you need to sleep
enough, so that the body gets enough deep sleep to rejuvenate
itself. Try to develop stress coping techniques so that you
aren't up being anxious. Put everything in tomorrow-mode and
just concentrate on being in the moment. How you sleep is also
key to avoid achy joints. Dr. Pramod Kerkar, a Michigan-based
pain specialist advises that you don't sleep on your stomach
because it puts extra stress on the spine and lower back. Roll
over to one side or another at night in order to wake up more
comfortably in the morning.



4.
Adjust Your Diet


As mentioned, stiff joints have various causes. One of the most
common is arthritis. The suffix “-itis” means inflammation. So,
another way to keep your joints from getting angry is to feed
them a non-inflammatory diet.

According to Joy Bauer, a nutritionist graduated from New
York University and current owner of Joy Bauer nutrition
centers, some things to include are delectables with omega 3
fatty acids (fish, omega-3 fortified eggs, ground flaxseed,
walnuts, seaweed, soybeans, etc) and extra virgin olive oil (it
has good fat and polyphenols).

In addition to olive oil, there are many antioxidant-rich foods.
Look for anything containing vitamin C, selenium, beta
carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, quercetin, and anthocyanidins.

You're probably thinking “Shoot, I could only think of things
with vitamin C and beta carotene, whatcha talkin' about?”

If you're eating a lot of vegetables, you're probably good. But
it's worth checking your diet to see which of your favorite
foods contain these nutrients.

Purple foods such as blueberries are rich in anthocyanidins,
bell peppers and of course oranges and strawberries are rich in
Vitamin C, and you'll find quercetin in many foods including
apples, peppers and purple and blue fruits and vegetables.


Bauer also emphasizes that there are foods you should avoid.
Saturated fats (often in animal products, coconut oil, palm oil,
and palm kernel oil), trans fat (in margarine and other
hydrogenated vegetable oils), and simple carbohydrates
(sugary foods, white flour, rice, bread), should be off the list.



5.
Lose Weight



If you're overweight and have morning stiffness, losing those
extra pounds can make a huge difference on your wellbeing. A
little weight loss goes a long way.

Geoffrey Westrich, attending orthopedic surgeon and Director
of Joint Replacement Research at the Hospital for Special
Surgery in New York breaks it down for us: “When we walk,
when we go up and down stairs, or get into or out of a chair or
car, we can put three to five times our body weight, and
sometimes more, on the joints,” he says. “So if you’re 50
pounds overweight, you’re putting around 250 pounds of
increased stress across your knees and hips.” Yikes.

That's a bit scary, when you get to thinking about it. The good
news is that the principle works in reverse, meaning that
shedding a couple pounds will make you a lot more
comfortable.

According to Westrich, “For every pound people lose, they lose
3 pounds of stress across their knee and 6 pounds of stress on
their hip, on average.”



6.
Take Natural Pain Medication


Herbs and spices are a pretty good bet when your joints are
stiff.

Turmeric, for example, contains the anti-inflammatory
antioxidant curcurmin.

In a 2009 study from the Journal of Alternative and
complementary Medicine, curcumin was found to be as effective
as ibuprofen for pain relief in patients with osteoarthritis. It's
also a generally good analgesic, regardless of your joint issues.

You can put turmeric powder and honey in warm milk or simply
take it in 250-500 milligram turmeric capsules.

Do talk to your doctor first, especially if you're taking other
medications, to make turmeric is safe for you.

Another good option is cayenne pepper. A 2010 study
published in the Journal of Medical Association of Thailand
found that applying 0.0125 percent capsaicin (the active
ingredient in cayenne pepper) helped relieve mild to moderate
pain in women suffering from knee osteoarthritis.

You can put 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder in a half
cup of coconut oil, leave it 20 minutes, then rinse. Buying
capsaicin cream is also an option. Make sure not to put it on or
near an open wound.



7.
Change Your Environment



Joint pain may be caused by your sleeping conditions.

When the environment is damp and cold, that can become an
issue.

Harvard graduate Dr. Mark Bromson from the Boca Raton
Orthopedic group recommends making sure that your windows
are closed if the air outside is damp and cold. He also says to
turn up the thermostat a notch or two.

It's also key to have the right mattress. Your joint stiffness may
be due not only to the position you are sleeping in, as
previously mentioned, but also where you're sleeping. If you
have a bad mattress that doesn't support your back, that could
be a possible explanation for some of the joint pain and
stiffness, as well.




















































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Stiff joints in the morning can be
improved with certain herbs
.