Before you get to the email topic, I want to let everyone know that I will be traveling from June 6th through June 12th and will be unavailable on those dates.

How do you feel when you first get out of bed in the morning? I’m not talking about how much energy you have…that is probably a good topic for next week though. I am focusing on how achy or stiff your back, hips, shoulders, or neck feel during the first 15 – 20 minutes most mornings. I chose those joints because they are the most common complaints I hear about in my office. Here’s the lowdown on why you may feel achier in the morning and also what you can do about it.

First, let’s address the WHY. Your joints don’t have a great supply of blood like your muscles do. Your joints are nourished by movement. That is why if you’re trying to figure out whether you have muscle pain rather than joint pain you can use movement as a guide. Muscle problems generally feel worse with increased activity. Joint problems generally feel better when you get them moving. I’m not talking about acute injuries, those usually feel bad no matter what, this pertains to the more chronic types of aches and pains that I help people with every day.

If you understand that concept then you can probably already guess why you feel more achy in the morning. You haven’t been moving and your joints are angry with you. For the most part, the last few hours of your day are spent sitting around relaxing. Then you have 1-2 hours lying in bed and at least 6.5 hours of sleep ( I hope it’s more like 7.5 ). That is a lot of inactivity. If you also work at a computer all day that is another 5-12 hours sitting on your butt. No wonder your joints ache.

Your joints need the lubrication of movement to keep them healthy. In general, the more joints move, the better. There is a point of too much movement but your muscles will fatigue and let you know when you’ve reached your movement limit for the day. I don’t currently have any patients that ever reach a movement limit for the day, the more glaring issue is getting them to move more often.

Now that you understand why your joints ache you also understand the cure. MOVE!

The problem with that recommendation is modern life. You sit way too much! OK you, yes the person that is reading this and feels like they don’t sit around all day. The lucky one that is a forest ranger or a pilates instructor but still has achy joints in the morning, there are other causes for achy joints in the morning. Let’s just bullet all of them below. Some are listed for those very unique individuals that move a lot and some are for the vast majority of sitting all day at the computer people.

  • Exercise – if you don’t have a regime of formal exercise get one now
  • Stretching- stretching before bed for 5-10 minutes will get your joints moving and help you to feel better in the morning.
  • Chiropractic – There may be 1 or more joints that are misaligned or simply fixated. A specific chiropractic adjustment can relieve the local stress and take away your pain.
  • Hot Bath or Shower before bed – again the goal is to improve circulation as close to bedtime as possible.
  • Fish oil and B Vitamins – two essential nutrients that are foundations for better circulation
  • Curcumin / Turmeric / Boswellia / Quercetin – anti-inflammatory nutrients that can reduce morning aches.
  • Meditation – the more stress you have the more physical tension you carry.
  • Herbal adaptogens – Herbs like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, and Eleuthero can help you manage stress more easily.
  • Antiinflammatory diet – What you put in your body will either promote health or steal your health. Try out my Leaky Gut Diet or contact me about how to do a Personalized Spring Detox.

I hope all of these suggestions sound familiar to you. The longer you’ve been subscribed to this email the more times you’ll see similar recommendations. That’s because I need to remind you that there is no magic bullet when it comes to your health. If you want to be the healthiest most resilient version of yourself you have to work on your habits. You aren’t expected to be perfect. If your body is giving you signals, like aches and pains though just know that there are strategies to work on to help you to be BETTER!

Contact me when you are ready to take your health to the next level.

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Yours in health,

Dr. Jason Piken DC, CNS, PAK

Dr. Jason Piken

Dr. Jason Piken is a Chiropractor, Certified Nutrition Specialist and Health Coach who offers a unique holistic and whole body approach to nutrition and wellness.

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