Do you or a loved one ever wake up and wonder if there are ways to reduce rheumatoid arthritis morning stiffness?
One of the most common problems of people living with RA is the extra stiffness and pain experienced in the morning.
According to a 2014 study, around 80% of people with active RA experience morning stiffness.
Why Are Mornings So Painful?
Waking up in the morning is usually painful for many people living with RA due to several reasons.
- Inactive muscles due to sleeping can cause joint fluid to collect at certain parts of the joints causing more swelling which leads to more pain and stiffness.
- The swelling happening while sleeping causes the surrounding tissues and muscles to tighten up due to inactivity.
- During the night, our body increases the production of hormones that may trigger swelling and stiffness in the morning.
How Long Does it Last?
Morning stiffness varies for each person living with RA.
For some, it may just last for a few minutes or until the joints become mobile again.
Some may experience stiffness for most of the day or even the whole day.
What To Do
As there is no cure for RA, we can only try to help the symptoms by managing flare-ups and reducing inflammation.
It is important to work with your doctor in doing so to be able to achieve the correct treatment plan for you.
Reducing Rheumatoid Arthritis Morning Stiffness
To be able to manage morning stiffness, it is essential to help your body manage your symptoms.
Here are ways to help manage RA flare-ups:
#1 – Change Your Diet
It is very important to know which foods can trigger inflammation and flare-ups and which foods can actually help keep the inflammation down. Eating anti-inflammatory foods can greatly help reduce rheumatoid arthritis morning stiffness and flare-ups.
#2 – Take Your Medication
If you have a treatment plan in place, it is essential to follow it and regularly take your medication.
#3 – Keep Your Body Active
Keeping your body active all throughout the day can be an important part of alleviating morning stiffness as the body and joints are kept moving.
#4 – Stay Hydrated
Drinking water plays an important role in maintaining the joints lubricated and healthy.
#5 – Keep Calm
Stress is one of the major factors in triggering flare-ups. Keeping calm and not stressing out about anything can greatly help in managing RA naturally.
#6 – Take It Slow
If it already feels too much on your body, it is ok to slow down and take it easy.
#7 – Massage Therapy
Getting regular massage therapy helps in improving blood circulation all over the body that reduces swelling and pain.
#8 – Taking Supplements
Taking additional supplements aside from your medication like Vitamin D and Fish Oil can greatly help in improving joint health and reduce inflammation in the joints.
#9 – Skip Happy Hour
Too much alcohol can cause inflammation so it is better to stay away from them.
#10 – Do Yoga
Research shows that doing Yoga improves joint flexibility and body function. It is better to choose a gentle type of Yoga to avoid stressing your body too much.
These tips provide rheumatoid arthritis flare treatment and help manage RA pain and inflammation.
Doing all these things does not assure you that you will no longer experience morning stiffness but it can certainly help.
4 Ways to Reduce Morning Stiffness from Rheumatoid Arthritis
In addition to the 10 helpful tips in managing RA symptoms, there are also ways to avoid or at least help your morning stiffness be more bearable.
Here are 4 ways to reduce morning stiffness due to RA:
#1 – Heat
Upon waking up, put a heating pad on your joints. You can also try wearing heated gloves. Heat Therapy relaxes the muscles and reduces pain.
#2 – Use Joint Cream or Hemp Lotion
Both can certainly help in easing out the stiffness in your joints in the morning. Always have it handy upon waking up.
#3 – Do Gentle Stretches
You can try gentle stretches like bending your knees, moving your hands and ankles. Stretching boosts blood circulation and helps with stiffness.
#4 – Take A Hot Bath
Once you are able to get out of bed, take a hot bath for a few minutes or even soak in the tub if you have time. This will help your body warm itself and ease the morning stiffness.
Do not be too hard on yourself if your body needs extra time to function in the morning.
It is better to give that extra time to yourself so you can function better in the morning and eventually for the whole day.
Allow yourself to gain function and circulation before starting the day.
Giving yourself an extra 45 minutes or one hour can greatly help your body function normally for the whole day.