Stretching regularly might also lower your risk of developing arthritis. Suppose you’re ready to give your body a little love with these simple stretches you can do before work or any time throughout the day. So let’s check out these best stretches you can do in the morning for better health.
The answer is right here:
Mike Westerdal: Hi Rick, I got a question for you. Sometimes in the morning, when I wake up, my back is stiff. It’s not like that all day. It just seems to be the first 5 or 10 minutes.
I also picture this in the middle of the night to be physically prepared for anything. What if somebody broke into the house and suddenly I have to pop out of bed, but my back is all cranked up and stiff?
I’m wondering why it is so stiff right when I wake up. Can you tell me about that?
Rick Kaselj: One thing I am looking at is how you end up sleeping. When you sleep, is your spine in a good position?
Often if you lie on your side, your spine won’t be nice and straight. If you lie on your back, your back would be in a nice straight position. If you lie on your stomach, your back will end up arched.
Look at how you sleep; you can also look at your mattress. If the mattress is poor and your hips dip into the mattress.
Mike Westerdal: Soft is poor?
Rick Kaselj: Soft is poor. A more firm or medium-firm is what I would recommend in the mattress.
You can check to see how your back feels on other beds. If you’ve gone to someone else’s house, visited someone else’s house, or gone to a hotel, has your sleep been better at those other places? It might be because the mattresses are better there, so look at your mattress.
The second thing is when we sleep, our spines expand, or they decompress, and that decompression makes that stiffness happen in our backs.
Also, when our joints loosen up with movement, we get that decompression, and that lack of movement causes that stiffness. Because you probably get up, and after like a minute or two of moving around, it feels fine; that movement lubricates things, so that’s what is happening.
The decompression ends up expanding things, for lack of movement leads to stiffness, so with all of us, we need a little bit of movement to loosen things up.
Because if you look like when you’re younger, let’s say in your 20s, you probably didn’t have that problem, but as our backs kind of age, we have more wear and tear on them, and they end up getting a little bit stiffer.
Mike Westerdal: I am not sure what position I sleep in. I think I move around a lot. I sleep on the side, on my back, wake on my stomach, and my arms are slipped, so I am all over the place.
But if I wake up and I have stiffness, you’re saying it goes away on its own. Is there any way to speed that up and get warmed up quicker?
Rick Kaselj: What I would recommend when you get out of bed is you can do a couple of back arches.
You are not bending forward; you are arching your back. You would stand up and arch your back several times, like five times.
Mike Westerdal: Like arch backward?
Rick Kaselj: Yeah. Like standing, I could go and arch and relax, arch and relax.
Mike Westerdal: You do that first thing when you get up?
Rick Kaselj: First thing in the morning. Not flexing forward but arching back. You’re countering the common movement that most people make. Most people move into flexion or forward bending and even when we sleep.
If you lay on your side, you’re not usually perfectly straight; your knees are bent. You bent forward in your back, so we’re countering that opposite. I would recommend getting up and doing a couple of those back arches.
Mike Westerdal: Do you think like me and everybody I talk to says they feel similar? Is it a common thing?
Rick Kaselj: It’s a common thing, and just like I said, as we age, there’s more wear and tear in our bodies.
Also, the quality of our tissue, like the quality of our muscles, kind of decreases as we age, and that ends up perfecting that stiffness.
Mike Westerdal: Thanks. I’ll give it a try.
Rick Kaselj: You bet.
Before you go, watch this:
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
Fix My Back Pain will come out next Tuesday; watch for it.
We hope you will implement these five best morning stretches for your body into your daily routine. This will help you improve your posture, reduce stress, and even reduce the risk of injury. These stretches are very simple to perform, making them ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Rick Kaselj, M.S.