As you age, there’s a chance a day will come where you don’t wake up and immediately spring out of bed, ready to take on the morning ahead. Whether you are dealing with an old injury, a new issue, chronic aches and pains, or joint stiffness, the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning can leave you wishing you hit snooze, call out of work, and fall back into the pillows to avoid your day!
It doesn’t have to be this way, however. What if you could say goodbye to those morning aches and pains for good? Call our office today to schedule your physical therapy consultation to find out how you can start enjoying your mornings again.
In the meantime, here are three simple things you can do to wake up feeling better!
1. Get enough sleep.
We know that getting enough sleep is key to feeling our best, but that doesn’t change the fact that many of us stay up into the wee hours of the night binge watching our favorite shows or reading a good book. However, studies have shown that, while we require around 8.5 hours of sleep at night to avoid chronic sleep deprivation, we are actually averaging closer to 7 hours of shut-eye! That means we’re missing out on some valuable resting time.
Lack of sleep contributes to lower levels of alertness throughout the day and a higher risk of accidents. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to higher pain levels when we are awake. Even if you resort to taking pain medication or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) throughout the day, their effects are greatly diminished when you haven’t had adequate sleep at night.
You should aim to get 8 hours of sleep per night for maximum benefit. This means turning off your TV, laptop, or phone, or putting the book down once your eyes start to grow heavy! You might be surprised at how quickly your morning aches and pains resolve.
2. Stay hydrated during the day.
Are you a big fan of water? We sure hope so, because up to 60 percent of the human body is made of water!
Your brain, muscles, organs, skin, and connective tissues rely on water to perform their proper functions. Regardless of this fact, up to 75 percent of Americans are functioning in a state of chronic dehydration! In other words, the fluids we are putting out do not equal the liquids that we are putting into our bodies. We’re simply not drinking enough hydrating fluids during the day, and opting instead for caffeinated beverages to up our energy levels.
Not only does dehydration cause brain fog, memory problems and irritability, it also has been linked to joint stiffness, muscle aches and chronic pain. Doctors recommend that adults drink eight 8 oz glasses of water every day, known as the 8 x 8 rule. If you live in a hot climate or perform intense physical activity, you should drink even more! In the end, drinking water throughout the day can help your body maintain joint lubrication, heal muscle fibers and prevent aches and pains when you wake up. Try to keep a refillable bottle or thermos near you at all times, and fill up every hour.
3. Stretch, stretch, stretch
It may seem strange to stretch just before you hop into bed, but stretching has been shown to improve your quality of sleep while preventing morning aches and pains. It relieves muscle tension, prevents sleep-induced cramping and repositions your body’s posture while giving you a sense of relaxation! Some people even like to incorporate yoga poses into their nighttime routine to ensure a more restful sleep.
However, many people don’t know where to start with an effective stretching routine. Fortunately, a physical therapist can create a stretching program that addresses your specific morning aches and pains.
Physical therapy is not only helpful for post-surgical recovery, it can address your everyday pain as well. They can assess how your body is positioned during the day and how to tend to sleep at night and recommend a personalized stretching protocol to help prevent morning aches and stiffness.
Ready to give physical therapy a try?
If you’re experiencing pain that makes it hard for you to get out of the bed in the mornings, this is a cause for concern. Physical therapists are trained movement specialists who know how to pinpoint and treat the underlying cause of your pain so you can start jumping out of the bed with enthusiasm in the morning, instead of reluctantly dragging yourself out of the pillows. Call our office for more information on how a physical therapist can help you say goodbye to morning pain for good.