I wanted to answer a common question I get asked about being stiff which we get asked
regularly by patients.
“Alejandra, do you have any advice for someone like me who isn’t in a lot of pain?
I’m just incredibly stiff when I wake up on a morning, and I feel it throughout the
day which means I can’t do things as easily as I’d like. Any advice?”
I’ve go plenty of tips and advice to help reduce stiffness.
But first I want to clear up ‘why’ we feel stiff in the first place.
A lot of people we see think that stiffness is something we feel as we get older –
and while there’s some truth in that, stiffness isn’t always directly related to how
old you are.
Yes, as you get older your joints and muscles might get stiff if you don’t exercise
regularly. And it’s true that your joints become less flexible as the lubricating
fluid inside them decreases, and the cartilage becomes thinner as you age… But
there’s some other points to factor in too.
Not drinking enough fluids and dehydration can also lead to stiff muscles. Muscles
are active tissues, which means they’re the kind of tissue that requires the most
water in the body.
Inactivity is another culprit – leaving your muscles in one place for a prolonged
period (sleep, sitting in a chair, driving for hours etc.) can cause them to stiffen.
Another cause can be related to stress – when we’re in a state of stress, our bodies
tighten up as preparation for a “fight or flight” situation. Prolonged stress can
lead to you maintaining a tight posture, resulting in strain on the muscles.
So what can you do to reduce the side-effects of stiffness? Here’s five quick and
easy tips to add to your daily routine that will help you find a life with less
stiffness no matter what age you are.
1. Stretch – daily. Ten minutes on a morning when you first wake up, and ten minutes
on a night before bed. Doing gentle stretches just before bed can help you get a much
better nights sleep as well. No equipment needed, just you and the comfort of your
own home (and some good music if you like).
2. Walk – for at least ten minutes a day (even better, twenty if you can). Next time
you need to make a long phone call, why not do it on your mobile and walk at the same
3. Avoid long periods of sitting – you’re better off laying stretched out on the sofa
than you are sitting in a chair for long periods of time. We’re NOT designed to sit,
and stretching out can be a nice relief for muscles and joints, especially if you’ve
had a long day at work sat in a chair.
4. Take a warm bath – with epsom salt or baking soda. The heat and combination of
epsom salt or baking soda will ease your muscles almost immediately and will calm
your mind. The perfect way to end your day and unwind before getting a good nights
5. Drink plenty of water -Seventy percent of your muscles are water. So it makes
sense that you need to drink plenty of water to support your body and keep it
hydrated. My tip – have a glass of water by your bed ready for when you wake up on a
morning, that way the first thing you do is drink a glass as soon as you wake to
kick-start your day.
It’s sad but a lot of people accept stiffness in their life as though it’s normal and
nothing can be done about it. Stiffness in your joints such as your neck, shoulders,
back and knees is a sign that something needs to be done by you.
So there you have it, five things you can very easily put into action in your day as
soon as today, to reduce stiffness and prevent it from making daily activities
difficult to do.
Don’t accept stiffness as part of life, if you do and you don’t do anything about it,
it’s likely to worsen and affect your ability to move freely.
P.S. If you’re experiencing stiffness in your back which restricts your ability to
move without pain, click here to request a FREE consultation where we can dive deeper
into the source of your pain and how to fix it permanently
To your health,