Do You Struggle with Stiff Joints? 13 Ways to Find Relief
Young and old, joint stiffness seems to plague us all. No matter how intense or sedentary our activities may be, we all experience it at some point.
Do your hips and knees feel stiff when you wake up in the morning? Do you struggle to stand up after watching a long movie? There are several reasons why prolonged inactivity may cause such symptoms.
One of the most common reason is arthritis. You may have osteoarthritis, which affects many older adults as the result of the joints experiencing years of ordinary wear and tear. If you’re younger, you may have rheumatoid arthritis or related conditions involving your immune system.
Duration can be a simple way to distinguish between the two. Stiffness related to osteoarthritis typically eases up in about 15 minutes or less while symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis tend to last much longer.
Whatever the cause, morning stiffness can usually be eliminated or reduced. Try these strategies for finding relief.
Medical Treatment for Morning Stiffness:
See your doctor.Your doctor will perform blood tests and examine your joints to make a diagnosis. They will also ask you about your medical history because genetics and injuries could increase your risk for arthritis.
Consult a specialist.You may be referred to a rheumatologist. They are specialists in autoimmune conditions who can help you to develop a treatment plan.
Take medication. There are many over-the-counter and prescription drugs to help relieve arthritis pain. Depending on your diagnosis, anti-rheumatic drugs may also be an option.
Get referred to physical therapy. Learning to move safely without damaging your joints can make you more comfortable and independent. A physical therapist will provide exercises to help you with daily activities.
Some approaches that a physical therapist may use include therapeutic exercises, manual therapeutics that can include joint mobilization to regain joint motion, soft tissue mobilization to release muscle tightness that can hinder movement, or relieve muscle spasms. A physical therapist also has an arsenal of modalities for pain relief. This can be ultrasound, electrotherapeutic point stimulation, low-level laser or phototherapy, Kinesiotaping (or KT Taping), and much more. Consult with a therapist. You can always get a referral from your primary physician, rheumatologist, neurologist, or internist. Nowadays you can also get a referral from a Nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. Check with your insurance.
Consider surgery. Most cases of arthritis can be managed without surgery. However, if your symptoms are severe, artificial joints are very effective at restoring mobility.
Home Remedies for Morning Stiffness:
Lose weight. Excess pounds strain your joints, as well as your heart. Lighten up with healthy eating and regular exercise.
Build strength. While it’s impossible to replace the cartilage you lose with age, you can increase your muscle mass. Lift weights or do floor exercises that use your body weight for resistance. Strong muscles give your joints extra support.
Increase flexibility.Safe stretching fights stiffness too by loosening tendons that naturally tighten when you sleep or sit still. Practice yoga or do leg and arm stretches while you watch TV.
Change your diet.There’s little evidence to support claims about expensive supplements and miracle foods that cure arthritis. On the other hand, a diet low in processed foods and rich in nutrients limits inflammation. Eat more fatty fish, nuts, green vegetables, and cherries.
Sleep well.Adequate rest is essential for healing. Go to bed and wake up on a regular schedule. Darken your bedroom and block out background noise with a fan or white noise machine.
Manage stress. Chronic tension can aggravate arthritis and any mental or physical condition. Relax with gentle music, meditation, or a warm bath.
Apply heat. For pain relief without drugs, apply a warm compress to your sore hips or shoulders.Long-standing injuries usually respond more successfully to heat while ice is recommended for the first couple of days after a new event.
Keep moving.Prevention is a sound strategy. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!”. When possible, take frequent breaks when you know you’ll be stuck in one place for a while. Shift your sleep position during the night and walk around while you’re on the phone.
Taking care of your joints will help you to sleep more restfully at night and move more comfortably in the morning and throughout the day. Maintain a healthy weight, avoid fatigue, and talk with your doctor if you need more assistance.
What Everyone Ought to Know About Diabetes and Sleep
You probably know that watching what you eat is important for managing your diabetes, but you may not realize that how you sleep can have a big impact too. In fact, the relationship between diabetes and sleep runs two ways.
Sleep issues can increase your risk for diabetes, and diabetes can interfere with your sleep.
If you’re living with diabetes, ask yourself whether you’re tossing and turning at night. Learning more about the connection between diabetes and sleep can help you to protect your health.
Discover how you can boost brainpower, enhance your mood, restore energy levels, and nourish and protect your brain.
Diabetes Management Tips for Protecting Your Sleep:
There are several common symptoms of diabetes that are likely to keep you up at night:
– Always thirsty
– Frequent Hunger
– Blurry Vision
– Tingling in the legs
– Numbness in the legs, feet
– Frequent urination
– Slow to heal wounds or bruises
Try these strategies for keeping them under control:
1.Eat a balanced diet. When you’re tired, you may be tempted to seek energy from junk food and excess calories, but that backfires by spiking your blood sugar levels, which means you’ll be making frequent trips to the bathroom at night to urinate.Break the cycle by consuming adequate portions of wholesome foods earlier in the day.
5.Lose weight. Slimming down can help you to prevent diabetes or reduce the symptoms. It also lowers your risk for apnea.
6.Talk with your doctor. If you’re still up at night, your doctor may suggest a sleep study. Being monitored while you sleep is an effective way to target your individual needs.
Sleeping Tips for Lowering Your Risk of Diabetes:
1.Sleep deprivation can cause hormonal changes similar to diabetes.When you’re short on rest, your body may have trouble using insulin efficiently, so your blood sugar rises. In addition, lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, which is also a risk factor for diabetes.
2.Keep a consistent schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day. That includes weekends and holidays.
3.Deal with stress. Knowing how to relax makes it easier to drop off to sleep faster. Develop a daily meditation practice or find a hobby that helps you release tension.
4.Darken your bedroom. Bright lights stimulate your brain. Stay away from television and computer screens for at least a couple of hours before bedtime. Consider installing blackout curtains in your bedroom.
5.Block out the noise. If noisy neighbors and car alarms are disrupting your dreams, screen out the background sounds. Use a white noise machine or turn on a fan.
7.Exercise regularly.Many studies show that adults who exercise report having better sleep. Aim to work out for at least 30 minutes on at least 3 days a week. Find a variety of activities you enjoy and will want to stick with.
More than 30 million Americans are currently living with diabetes and that number is expected to double or triple by 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sleeping well can help you to reduce your risk or manage the symptoms of diabetes so you can lead a longer and more active life.