Featured Image Caption: Morning Muscle and Joint Pain
It is fairly common to wake up with an unexpected body ache or pain such as neck and shoulder pains as well as lower back pains, which is felt right after moving from lying in bed to standing and slowly subsides as you move around. This usually occurs due to stiffness from long periods of decreased blood flow, which occurs during sleep.
Persistent aches in the morning could be due to a couple of factors that include, but are not limited to;
- Poor sleeping posture
Poor sleeping positions are known to put uncomfortable pressure on certain joints and muscles in the body which results in aches. A common reason for backache is putting pressure on your spine which flattens its natural curve or consistently sleeping on the stomach. The most recommended sleeping position is on your side or on your back with support like a pillow under your knees. However, if sleeping on your stomach is the ultimately comfortable position for you, it is advised to place a pillow under your lower abdomen or pelvis.
Aches and pains during pregnancy are fairly common as a result of physical and hormonal changes in the body. Back pains are especially problematic between the fifth and eighth month. Expectant mothers should sleep on their left side to reduce such pains and could add a light pillow between the knees for additional comfort. Additionally, an alternation of cool and warm compression should alleviate discomfort. If pain fails to subside, it is prudent to see your doctor.
- Bad bed
If you are constantly waking up with various aches and sleeping posture is not the culprit, you may just have a bad bed. A 2009 study showed that you should switch out your mattress after at most 10 years of use for better quality sleep. It could also be that your bed is slightly un-even which necessitates sleeping in a certain angle for maximum comfort or it may have a slight creek that may cause sleep interruptions. It is important to buy sleeping furniture from a trusted source such as, Value City furniture as well as ask for personal recommendations from attendants or check online on the type of bed that would work for you.
- Disc degeneration
Degenerative disc disease commonly occurs as a result of wear and tear on your body caused by aging. This is where spinal disks begin to deteriorate between your vertebrae causing intense pain and discomfort, which typically worsens in the morning. The disease cannot really be prevented or permanently treated. Effective treatment often involves steroid injections and other forms of prescribed pain medication as well as wearing a brace or corset to increase back support.
This disorder causes widespread musculoskeletal pain by affecting how the brain processes pain signals. Symptoms include; fatigue due to restless sleep, memory issues, irritable bowel syndrome as well as anxiety and depression. Though there is no cure for fibromyalgia, the condition can be treated though medication to reduce painful symptoms and improve sleep as medicated by a qualified and licenced doctor.
In the case that the discussed aches are caused by an underlying condition, then treating the condition should effectively alleviate the aches and pains. However, if there seems to be no definitive reason for your morning pains or the underlying condition can only be managed, then a few lifestyle changes could go a long way in reducing said pains and aches.
- Morning bed stretches
It is important to develop a habit of doing long elaborate stretches before getting out of bed as opposed to simply hopping out of bed and onto other activities. This can be done by reaching your arms as far up above your head as possible while reaching your feet out downward. You can also bring your knees as far into your chest as possible and gently rock from side to side. Doing simple yoga, particularly the cobra pause, in the morning would also be immensely helpful.
A simple plank, when done correctly should work your core muscles as well as your entire body. Physicians say that doing a thirty second-long plank a day should alleviate minor back pain as the abdominal muscles get strengthened. To get the correct plank-posture, start face down on the floor then lift your arms and place your forearms and elbows in line with your wrists then push yourself up into your upper back making sue to keep your chin close to your neck while contracting your thighs and glutes.
- Get exercise throughout the day
Walking is among the best and easiest exercises for joint pains. Doctors recommend aiming for above 7,000 steps a day which can easily be attained and recorded using a fitness phone app. In the case that your job involves long periods of uninterrupted sitting, it is important to stand up at least once every 45 minutes for a quick stretch or consider getting a temporary standing desk.
- Topical remedies
There is also the option of tropical remedies using oils and ointments. Peppermint and turmeric oils are effective for relaxing various muscles. It should be noted that it is vital to dilute essential oils, such as those from olive or jojoba, in carrier oils to prevent skin irritation.
In the case that you experience consistent and recurrent morning pains that last throughout the day and are not alleviated by any common remedies, it would be imperative to visit a doctor. This is because it could be a symptom of a health condition like arthritis or fibromyalgia, which would require immediate medical attention. It is important to ensure that you are sleeping in a comfortable and conducive environment in order to get the best sleep.