Do you feel achy and stiff when you wake up in the mornings, as if your entire body is being weighed down? It is normal to feel this way every now and then – perhaps you had a tough workout at the gym the day before, or perhaps you spent a large amount of the day on your feet. This is also a common symptom of your body fighting off an illness, such as a cold or the flu. But if you wake up feeling stiff and achy every single morning, it could be a sign of a deeper issue.
If you’re being troubled by pesky aches and pains that won’t seem to go away, contact Hand for Living today. We’ll help diagnose the issue and get you started on the path toward relief!
A common cause of achy mornings:
Joint tissues can become irritated from overuse throughout the day – sometimes without you even realizing it. During your sleeping hours, you are almost completely immobile, which can cause any affected tissues to become inflamed. This can further aggravate the irritation, thus causing stiff and achy joints by the time you wake up in the morning.
If this is the case, it is likely that the uncomfortable sensation will quickly dissipate once you get up and start walking around. Movement causes inflammation to become liquid-like, thus decreasing any pain it may be causing.
One simple remedy to avoid waking up achy is hydration. Staying hydrated allows your body’s tissues to function at their normal pace, whereas dehydration slows down your chemical processes. Hydration will also keep your tissues from becoming overly inflamed, thus easing irritation.
But what if the pain is persistent or severe?
If you have already been diagnosed with a more serious medical condition that is causing your aches and pains, participating in hand therapy treatments may help ease your discomfort. If you haven’t been diagnosed with an underlying condition to explain your pain, but you are still experiencing persistent discomfort, it is important to consult with your primary physician as soon as possible. Hand therapy is a common and effective treatment plan for pain relief that most doctors will suggest. Below are a few of the most common ailments known to cause daily aches and pains that can be successfully relieved with the guidance of a hand therapist:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Bone cancer.
Any of these conditions can contribute to persistent stiffness, achiness, or pain. Hand therapy treatment plans for these conditions will focus on alleviating your discomfort and helping you achieve a greater range of motion in your affected joints or limbs. The main goals of any treatment plan are to improve your overall function and help get you back to your normal levels of mobility.
How can I keep my joints limber?
Participating in hand therapy and occupational therapy treatments can help provide assistance for your specific needs. In-clinic treatments will likely be necessary if your pain is rooted in an underlying condition, but many many hand therapists and occupational therapists will also suggest at-home remedies to complement your treatments. Some of these may include:
- Getting substantial amounts of sleep. There is an endless cycle of benefits surrounding sleep, especially in regards to hand therapy and occupational therapy. Sufficient amounts of sleep will increase your ability to exercise effectively, which, in turn, will also help you sleep better at night. Your sleep and exercise habits go hand-in-hand, and the results of one will always affect the other.
- Making nutritious diet choices. Did you know that fruits and vegetables can help relieve your pain? Healthy foods have more antioxidants and vitamins, which fight off the inflammation that leads to pain and irritation. A better diet also helps you sleep better at night and helps your body benefit better from exercise.
- Maintaining proper posture. You can avoid unnecessary aches and pains simply by maintaining a proper posture. For example, if your work requires you to sit at a desk for long hours, or if you stay sedentary for long periods of time every day, it is important to get up every half hour or so for some light stretches. You can relieve your joint pain by moving around and keeping your circulation going. It is best to avoid slouching or hunching while you are at your desk. Always make sure that your spine is straight and your shoulders are back.
Seeking the help of a Hand Therapist:
Some people avoid hand therapy and occupational therapy due to embarrassment – maybe you are out of shape or your body simply doesn’t move the way it used to. We are here to ease your mind and say there is no reason whatsoever to be embarrassed!
Your treatment plan will be personalized specifically for you, so no exercise will ever be out of your reach. You will also have support and encouragement from your hand therapist every step of the way! If you are living with daily discomfort, don’t hesitate to give us a call today. We would love to help you along your journey toward long-lasting pain relief. Call our Lynnwood, WA office to schedule a consultation and get started on the track toward ridding yourself from those pesky aches and pains!