One of the many things that many of the millions of joint pain sufferers have in common is morning joint pain.
The cause of the pain is usually thought of as a sign of aging, but the reality is that while morning joint pain is more common among older adults, it can affect people of any age. Morning joint stiffness is also more likely to happen to people who are overweight.
For older adults, the problem may be aging cartilage, which is one of the body's connective tissues.
There are three types of cartilage: hyaline, elastic, and fibrous. Hyaline cartilage is most commonly found in our joints, where it acts as a coating for the bones so they can move over and against each other without pain. Cartilage is roughly 65-80 percent water. As we age, cartilage dries out, which leads to stiffness.
Worn cartilage is not the only source of morning joint pain, but it is common and persistent. To help reduce morning joint pain, try any or all of these remedies:
- Stay in bed. When you wake up to start your day, with or without an alarm, don't immediately get up. Instead, stay in bed for a couple of extra minutes and perform a few simple, slow stretches throughout your body.
- Take a shower. For those who workout, then take a shower, try reversing the order. A warm bath or shower prompts blood to the surface of the skin and will help reduce stiffness. You may also want to try a few careful stretches in your bath or shower.
- Dry your clothes. Before getting dressed, try placing your clothes in a dryer at the highest setting for about five minutes. You may find that the soothing heat from your clothes will help ease your joint pain.
- Stretch. Slowly and gently move your joints to help reduce joint inflammation and pain. A 15-20 minute walk at a normal pace may be all you need.
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