16:35 PM

Wake Up Feeling Stiff? Here's What Your Body's Trying to Tell You

Livestrong.com shares the reasons for morning muscle stiffness, and ways to soothe the soreness according to Alice Chen, MD, physiatrist at HSS.

The root of your morning muscles stiffness could be something as simple as the way you're sleeping. While we snooze, we can unintentionally move into some uncomfortable positions. This can result in waking up with our muscles twisted in knots. "Sleeping with the neck and back in a contorted position (like sleeping upright in a chair or sofa) can cause joint and muscle strain.  Sleep in a bed with adequate space and support," advised Dr. Chen. Specifically, make sure your mattress helps neutralize the natural curves of your spine and promotes proper alignment (it should hold your whole body without your hips sagging). Similarly, get good neck support from a pillow to maintain spinal alignment, said Dr. Chen. 

In addition to pushing too hard, training too much can also create problems. Your muscles require time to recover and repair between sweat sessions. When you don't give yourself adequate rest, you'll likely experience more extreme muscle soreness. "After a heavy workout, muscles can feel sore because there is swelling of the muscle tissue," explained Dr. Chen. And any time there's swelling, there's usually accompanying stiffness.

You may have noticed more morning aches and pains with the passing years. That's no coincidence. "As the body ages, the joints experience more wear and tear," noted Dr. Chen. This can cause stiffness, "especially when there are long periods of inactivity, like sleep." The answer here is also to stay active. “Gentle movements and light activity get the joint fluid loosened up, which alleviates stiffness," she suggested.

Read the full article at livestrong.com.