We can all relate to that creaky, achy morning stiffness that makes it difficult to maneuver when you first get up from bed. While the soreness usually goes away within a few minutes of walking around the house, it can still feel unpleasant. Dr. William Docken, medical director of the Brigham Orthopedics and Arthritis Center at Chestnut Hill and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School says, “It’s not known why morning stiffness occurs, especially as people age, but the only common thread is that it occurs after long bouts of inactivity. That is why you feel so stiff when you wake up, since sleeping is when you are inactive for the longest continuous time.”
However, according to Harvard Health Publishing, sitting in the car or at your desk for a prolonged period can also cause stiffness. Make sure you get up and stretch or take a quick walk every half hour if possible. Do a few lunges to release the muscles of the hips which can trigger a sore back.
The experts at Harvard Health recommend following the ABC’s to reduce morning aches.
- Arm circles. Matthew Sloan, the executive editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, says that sweeping your arms out and overhead and then returning them to your side can helps loosen tight shoulder muscles. Stand tall with your feet together and on an inhale spread your arms out and up. Exhale as you sweep them back and return them back to your side. Repeat 5 times.
- Back bends. With feet hip-width apart, stand tall and place your palms on you lower back, pointing the fingers either up or down. Inhale as you lean backward, only until you are comfortable, eyes to the ceiling. Exhale as you return to standing straight. Repeat 5 times. This helps release tight hip and psoas muscles.
- Chair pose. This classic yoga pose helps loosen your quadriceps and hamstring muscles which can cause back pain. With feet together, or slightly apart, squat as low as you can on an inhale, bringing your arms in front of you or alongside your ears. Exhale and return to standing, lowering your arms by your side. Repeat 5 times.
Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., co-author of The Great Cholesterol Myth, tells Newsmax that this morning routine can help dispel aches and pains. He also recommends taking a supplement called Joint-UC that contains collagen to support healthy joints and mobility. Bowden takes a glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate combination supplement along with high doses of fish oil, curcumin, and quercetin to ease his pain.
“I have severe arthritis in my right shoulder and with this regimen, I am back to playing tennis 5 times a week,” he said.
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