Are you finding it more difficult to move than you used to? Do you often feel pain, stiffness, cramping or discomfort? You’re not alone. In the case of joint stiffness, the symptoms become a reality for most people as they age and can be the result of numerous conditions and lifestyle factors. Either way, there are some effective natural solutions.
While muscle stiffness can be a sign of something more serious, it will usually go away on its own and can also be relieved in a number of ways. In this post, we’ll take a look at how you can relax your stiff muscles and joints naturally, thus providing some much-needed relief.
Hot or Cold Compress
Both temperature extremes can work as a simple and effective way to soothe areas of discomfort. While also effective for joint stiffness, heat is especially effective at relaxing muscles as it improves circulation. It can come in the form of a heating pad, hot water bottle, or even a warm bath or shower.
A bag of ice is all you need to apply a cold compress, which works best for joint stiffness. Apply it to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes each day to reduce inflammation and swelling. This will not only ease your joints into the smoother movement but also dull pain receptors to help you experience less discomfort.
It should come as no surprise that exercise is beneficial for reducing muscle and joint stiffness. A light daily workout can go a long way in improving mobility. Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which puts less pressure on your body and reduces your risk of developing conditions that cause stiffness and pain.
Of course, it would be wise to consult a doctor or physician before beginning a certain exercise program. You don’t want to do something that’s too intense, as it can aggravate certain conditions. You might find a more beneficial solution in the realm of stretching routines, yoga, or water aerobics.
Starting with sleep positions, none are created equal, and each has a different effect on your body. Stomach sleepers tend to be the most prone to joint and back pain, while side sleepers statistically experience the least amount of issues. This is largely due to spinal alignment, which can also be put out of whack by the wrong pillow.
A mattress that’s too soft or firm is another major contributor to stiffness. If you’re experiencing stiffness and pain most often when you wake up, it’s worth considering picking up a new mattress. With Presidents Day and its associated sales on mattresses around the corner, now is a great time to make the investment.
When it comes to muscle stiffness, having sufficient quantities of water in your body is key to preventing the problem. This is especially true if you sweat or exercise often. Researchers have found that a lack of water during exercise can increase muscle pain and cause noticeable damage.
Calcium and Magnesium
Another essential factor for maintaining muscle health comes in the form of these two nutrients. You can find calcium in more than just cow’s milk. It can also be obtained from almost all dairy alternatives, including almond, soy, and rice milk.
Salmon and fortified orange juice are also great sources of calcium. To increase your magnesium intake, consume more fish, avocados, bananas and dark leafy greens. Magnesium can be found in most seeds and nuts as well. Fish oil and flaxseed are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help relieve and prevent joint stiffness.
As you can see, relieving muscle and joint stiffness largely comes down to following a healthy lifestyle. In doing so, you can quickly regain full mobility and move comfortably again.