Stiff joints in the morn­ing: these tips help

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Joints are often painful in the morning after not having been used for a while. Special mobili­sa­tion exercises after getting up will help.

What helps with morning stiffness?

You feel like you are glued to your bed in the morning and can hardly move? You're not alone. To get the day off to a good start, movement is the answer. Mobilisation, gymnastic exercises and stretching lubricate and circulate the joints and reduce the tedious pain.

Mobilisation to get started

Start the day in a leisurely manner and, ideally, do the first exercises while still in bed: it's best to start straight after waking up by moving your fingers and toes and then moving into light circular movements of the shoulders, wrists and legs. You can also gently start to move the neck. Warmth also has a beneficial effect: a heat pad, warm tea or even a bath can help overcome morning stiffness.

3 exercises for stiff joints in the morning

Hands and ankles are often the most affected. They hurt and don't want to be moved in the morning. This is where it's most important to move gently. Physiotherapist Ursi Hellweg demonstrates. (in german)

Household remedies for stiff joints

How about something other than instantly turning to medication? There are a number of household remedies that can help with stiff joints. One is the cabbage compress: put savoy cabbage leaves on the painful areas and leave them on for a few hours or overnight. Or mix grated nutmeg with a neutral body lotion and rub it into the aching joints. For acute inflammatory flare-ups, cold helps: a cooling quark compress, for example.

The right diet for morning stiffness

  • Good fats like omega-3 fatty acids help with morning stiffness. These can be found in nuts, linseed oil or salmon, for example.
  • Plant-based foods should also be high on the menu.
  • Vitamin B6, which is needed to build joint cartilage, is particularly important. It is found in foods like whole grain products and legumes.
  • Spices such as cumin, coriander and nutmeg are also good for the mucous membrane in the joint.

A balanced diet is particularly important for the joints. If the body lacks vitamins and minerals over a longer period of time, joint cartilage deteriorates and the joints wear out more quickly or become more susceptible to inflammation. It's advisable to cut down on sausages and other fatty meats and avoid eating too much sugar. The acid in these foods promotes inflammation and it is coun­ter­pro­duc­tive to eat them if you suffer from general joint pain, joint pain after inactivity and stiff joints.

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