Conquering Morning Muscle and Joint Stiffness - Thrive Now Physiotherapy

Conquering Morning Muscle and Joint Stiffness

Conquering Morning Muscle and Joint Stiffness

As you age, and especially after having kids, waking up with stiff, achy, and creaky muscles and joints becomes increasingly common. These feelings usually go away after about 10 min when you get up and start moving, but some mornings can be worse than others.


So why does morning stiffness occur?

Muscle and Joint Stiffness Stiffness naturally increases with age, but almost always occurs after long bouts of inactivity. Therefore, you feel stiff when waking up in the morning as sleeping is the longest and most continuous period of inactivity throughout your entire day. Minor stiffness may naturally occur throughout the day, but can be broken up by periods of standing, stretching, and moving around. It is harder to keep mobile through the night so doing some mobility exercises after waking up can help you loosen up those stiff muscles.


A simple remedy for stiffness.

Dr. William Docken is a rheumatologist that works at two Harvard affiliated hospitals. When battling morning stiffness, he recommends a simple remedy called the “A-B-C routine.” He says that you can do this routine after waking up, during breaks from sitting at work, or anytime you are feeling a bit stiff. This muscle and joint stiffness routine focuses on three main areas of the body which are the shoulders, back, and legs.


Arm Sweep exercise for Muscle and Joint Stiffness A: Arm Sweeps

After waking up, stand up straight with your feet together. Inhale and bring your arms out to the side and straight up the ceiling. Exhale and sweep your arms back down to your side. Repeat this 10 times.






Back Bends exercise for Muscle and Joint Stiffness


B: Back bends

Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart, put your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing down towards the back of your legs. Inhale and roll your shoulders back, pointing your chest towards the ceiling, arch your back to the point of comfort and look up at the ceiling. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds and release the position as you exhale. Repeat 5 times.





Chair Pose exercise for Muscle and Joint Stiffness C: Chair Pose

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms down by your side. Raise your arms above your head, exhale, and bend your knees and hips into a squat position (like you’re sitting in an invisible chair). Go as low are you are comfortable with and keep your back straight. Hold for 2-3 seconds, inhale, stand up, and bring your arms back down to your side. Repeat this 10 times. If you find this exercise difficult, try raising your rams to chest height only, or keep your hands on your thighs as you squat down.




When we sleep, we often stay in the same position for extended periods of time. These 3 movements are meant to mobilize and stretch the muscles in the opposite direction that they have been sitting in all night. Doing these few simple movements every morning can help you overcome those creaky, stiff, and achy muscles/joints that greet you every morning when your feet hit the floor.

Written By:

Patrick JadanPatrick Jadan | Thrive Now Physio

Registered Physiotherapist, Co-Owner of Thrive Now Physiotherapy


Book Online Now!

Please Select your Clinic...

Cobble Hill