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Loosen up in the morning

Loosen up in the morning

If you have osteoarthritis, you'll likely find it difficult and painful to get up and moving in the mornings. During sleep, your body is in a relatively static position. This causes your muscles, joints and ligaments to stiffen.

Doing a few simple exercises when you wake can make it easier for you to stand up and take those first steps.

While lying down:

Warm up the way you would ahead of an exercise session before you sit up and get out of bed.

Try a set of five to 10 of the following: Heel slides to wake up your legs. Roll your ankles from side to side. Flex your feet so that your toes point up then point your toes straight ahead. Clasp your hands together and move your arms up and over your head, then gently bring them back down.

Sit up safely:

Do a set of leg lifts. March in place while still sitting. Rotate your ankles clockwise, then counterclockwise.

Getting your leg muscles loosened up before you attempt to stand and start walking is vital. If you are experiencing dizziness when you wake up, you should let your doctor know. If you have back problems, roll onto your side and then sit up, using your arms to help get your legs over the side of the bed. Then: Point and flex your feet.

Getting up:

Stand up slowly, using your arms for support if necessary. Take a few steps then gradually pick up the pace. Consider taking a comfortably hot shower to help your joints and muscles relax, but if your joints are swollen, skip the hot shower and ice the joints.

Be sure to learn the difference between stiffness and pain.

Finally, if pain lingers or worsens with activity, see your doctor.


Source: Healthy Aging: Sinai of Medicine Focus on Mount (September 2012)

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