What is the first thing you do when your alarm goes off at 6:00am? Your answer should be stretch, but let’s back up a little and touch on why we should be stretching. Do you ever wonder why your back seems so stiff in the morning after a night’s sleep? Well, the explanation is pretty simple. The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae that are joined together by joints. These joints contain small cushions called capsules that contain fluid called synovial fluid. The more we move, the more our joints move which leads to increased lubrication of these capsules and therefore joints.
Now let’s get back to that alarm…as that dreaded tone interrupts our sleep, we awaken after spending 8 hours (in a dream world) lying down with very little movement. This lack of movement leads to less fluid between the joints which makes us feel stiff. How well does an engine work without oil? The same is true of the joints in our body. Synovial fluid is the body’s oil and movement facilitates increased fluid within our joints.
So back to that alarm disturbing our sleep. You step out of bed and feel like you have aged 30 years over night. Putting one foot in front of the other is an incredible effort and simple tasks like bending at the sink to brush your teeth seems nearly impossible. You feel very stiff. Well, after moving around for an hour or so we tend to loosen up and this is because we are adding movement back into the joints causing them to become hydrated. Life is good.
My questions for you is, why not speed this process up and make stretching the first thing you do in the morning? Stretching can take all of five minutes and can greatly improve you’re overall comfort level in the morning. Don’t wait for an hour for the body to loosen up. Take five minutes of your morning to speed that process up.
If stretching does not improve your morning discomfort then you may have other issues present that should be addressed. Feel free to contact our offices if you have any specific questions.
Now go stretch!