Top 5 Exercises to Help Morning Stiffness

The morning can be one of the most difficult times of the day for those who suffer from joint pains and morning stiffness. Morning stiffness can be caused by a variety of conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic health conditions. It can also be caused by inactivity, obesity, ageing, rheumatoid conditions, and sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help prevent morning stiffness.

First, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Also, make sure that your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive. If your mattress is too soft or too hard, it can lead to morning stiffness. If you are struggling with sleep, try a sleep app to monitor your sleep. Herbal supplements can be useful. However, the best way to improve sleep is to address underlying anxiety or stress, or anything that is playing on your mind.

Second, take the time to do some gentle stretching and mobility exercises in the morning. Warming up your muscles before getting out of bed can help reduce morning stiffness. Doing a few simple stretches can also help to loosen up your muscles and improve your range of motion. All of these you can do in bed!

Let’s look at 5 Morning Stiffness Stretches:

Knee Hugs: Lie flat on your back on a bed or the floor. Bend your knees towards your chest, and hold your knees. Rock your back in circles to mobilise your back. Hold for 15 seconds, repeat three times.

Back Rotations: Lie flat on your back on a bed or the floor. Bend your knees and keeping your feet flat on the bed or floor, rotate your hips to one side creating a rotation through your lower back. Only go as far as feels comfortable, you do not need to get your knees to the floor. Return to the opposite side. This is an excellent lower back mobility exercise, especially if you have acute lower back pain or disc problems. Repeat ten times each side.

Cat Camel Stretch: Start in a neutral four point position on your hands and knees. Round your back from an arched position as you pull in your abdominal muscles. It should feel like a gentle stretch to your lower back. Don't over-arch your back; keep it comfortable, unless your therapist guides you otherwise. After you have rounded your back, form an arch with your lower back. Repeat the movement to the required number of repetitions. This is a good exercise to stretch your back and reduce back pain. Repeat ten times.

Prone Lying with Shoulders Elevated: Lie on your front and rest with your arms above your head. If your shoulder is stiff, you may be unable to lie in this position, so do not push it too hard and make the exercise easier by bending your elbows. Hold for one minute.

Ankle Mobilisations: Long sit on the floor or bed. Bend your ankles down towards the floor, and back up towards your knees. Go as far as feels comfortable, and repeat. This is an ankle mobility exercise. Repeat twenty times on both sides.

Third, make sure you are eating a healthy diet. Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can help reduce inflammation and morning stiffness. Staying hydrated can also help reduce morning stiffness.

Finally, if you are still struggling with morning stiffness, it may be a good idea to talk to our team at Surrey Physio. They’ll take a case history, do an examination, do some treatment and prescribe you the right advice and guidance to help you. By following these tips, you can help reduce your morning stiffness and get your day off to a better start.

(Physios and Therapists: these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises Patients: if you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).