Let’s talk about your morning routine. Do you have one? And, just as importantly, is it built around helping you keep your arthritis pain to a minimum after a long night?
While many people address arthritis by adjusting diet, mobility, or their daily work setup, how you start the day is a critical factor to consider when working to reduce joint pain and inflammation. Follow these five steps for the best results.
Find the right sleeping position
Waking up pain-free starts with sleeping in the right position. Depending on which joints give you the most pain, it may be best to stick to your current position if you have optimized it for your arthritic situation. General best practices include sleeping in a straight line rather than bunched up or curved, both in the neck and spine.
Unless necessary, try not to sleep with your head overly elevated above the rest of the body, because this can strain the neck. Keeping yourself centered in the bed and on the pillow, and without applying pressure to painful joints, is equally important.
While it can be tough to rearrange your sleeping habits, especially at an older age, the effort pays in better days and nights — a full 24-hour cycle of improvement.
For those wanting a bit more direction here, we dove deep on the best sleep positions for arthritis in this article.
Be sure to stretch!
Once you’ve had your coffee, tea, or other morning beverage of choice, it’s time for a good stretch. We’ve talked extensively about the best stretches for arthritis here on the GLX3 blog, and recommend taking a look at these articles to help you build a stretching routine:
Your stretching should be focused on the joints that give you the most trouble. Range of motion exercises, such as arm circles, knee rotations, and elbow bends, are great for loosening the joints in the morning. If your wrists give you pain, lightly push them back and forth from the wrist with the opposite hand.
Take a Green-Lipped Mussel Supplement
Part of any successful process for long-term joint stabilization for those with arthritis involves consistently working to fight inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most effective foodstuffs you can use, as they give the body a necessary fatty acid that it can’t make on it’s own. Therefore, we have to provide Omega-3s in our daily diet. An Omega-3 supplement, such as GLX3, gives you the recommended dosage of this essential joint companion.
Omega-3 supplements can be added to your diet without disrupting your current eating pattern or daily routine. It may take up to a month to begin noticing the benefits, but that minimal wait is well worth it — reduced inflammation means less pain from rheumatoid arthritis! And, because these supplements are over the table, you can use them for as long as necessary and discontinue whenever you like. Of course, you should speak with your doctor about your specific situation.
GLX3 is all-natural, containing only New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil, New Zealand olive oil, and Vitamin E oil. All three ingredients deliver a power punch to joint pain and inflammation, and we can now deliver the supplement straight to your doorstep.
Another benefit of a supplement like GLX3 is that it’s an easy box to check on a daily basis, no matter how you’re feeling that day. An extended walk might be out of the question — but an Omega-3 supplement doesn’t even require getting out of bed.
You probably read this section title and thought, “Moving is the last thing I want to do!”
It’s time to reframe that perception, however, because once you’ve done some stretching and woken up, some activity is the best thing you can do for your joints. While asleep, your joints have been resting along with the rest of your body (unless you had an unfortunate night of tossing and turning).
That’s all well and good, but here’s the thing — that six to eight hour period of stillness causes the joints to stiffen and your rheumatoid arthritis means, in part, that they aren’t going to simply limber up without convincing.
We’re not saying you need to get out and run a 5k. Just 30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace can do wonders for your joints, both for strengthening the joint surfaces and for feeling limber throughout the rest of the day.
If 30 minutes is too much, or if it’s cold outside, break the walks up into 10-minute segments throughout the morning and early afternoon. And yes, walking the dog certainly counts!
Employ that heating pad
This is the most relaxing of the steps, making it the favorite of this writer (shhh — don’t tell the boss!). Applying heat directly to stiff joints helps them to loosen — and remain agile without as much soreness. We all know how much a heating pad can help with a sore stomach and other aches and pains, and the same is true for those joints.
We’ve put the heating pad step at the end because it can be a good way to sit back and reward yourself for working through the other steps. However, you can also use the heating pad after stretching, or while still in bed if you wake up experiencing more pain than normal.
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