A Writer’s Guide to Dealing With Stiff Muscles and Joints
Jul 16, 2018
There are many causes of stiff muscles and joints depending on your overall health. In some cases, it can be the root of an underlying issue while other times it’s a simple diagnosis. Many people will recover in a short period of time, but some people are stuck suffering from stiffness throughout their daily life.
Symptoms can range from stiff knee pain to stiffness after sitting or worse; having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning because the stiffness is so intense. Regardless of your range of motion, these symptoms can be debilitating in so much that they also cause psychological issues such as stress and anxiety.
Whether you deal with stiff knee pain or stiff muscles and joints overall, there are ways to reduce the pain and suffering. Here are some tips on how to deal with stiff muscles and joints if you’re a writer that sits all day.
9 Tips for How to Deal With Stiff Muscles and Joints
The first thing you should do when you notice stiff muscles or joints is to determine the cause. It could be something as simple as an insect bite, or something as severe as the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you think it’s just a strain that will go away on its own, there are still some things you can do to prevent inflammation from getting worse.
Get Plenty of Rest
Even while too much rest can be an underlying cause of stiffness, it’s also important to make sure that you’re getting the proper amount of sleep. Sleep restores the body after each day and allows your cells, joints, and muscles to rejuvenate. Without enough rest, your body will be overworked and stressed which is a cocktail for disaster.
Even getting up from your computer and resting for a few minutes at a time during the day can be enough to help relieve pain associated with stiffness in your muscles and joints.
Ease Into Activity
Stiffness after sitting is one of the most common complaints of writers. It’s important to ease into your activities each day, whether that be performing exercises and stretches, having your morning coffee, or sitting down at your desk to start writing. Don’t push yourself too hard when you’re experiencing stiffness or it could get worse.
Hot or Cold Compress
Both hot and cold compresses work well for joint and muscle stiffness. You can use a cold compress to help numb the pain and reduce inflammation. Try this for 15-20 minutes at a time a few times per day.
A hot or warm compress or even a warm shower or bath will help relax muscles and increase circulation.
Exercising and stretching are key components to help reduce swelling and inflammation in your joints and muscles. Pick out a program that you can perform first thing in the morning to get your day started off right. Pick another set of stretches for your mid-morning and afternoon breaks to break up the monotony of sitting all day.
You can give yourself a massage if you can reach the areas that are bothering you. If not, investing in a professional massage at least once per month can help alleviate symptoms of stiffness and help you relax. You can also talk to your doctor about prescribing physical therapy which can not only ease your pain but also teach you how to manage it carefully.
There are several over the counter, or OTC medications directed toward muscle and joint pain or stiffness. Look for NSAIDS which stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Common NSAIDS include Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen.
It’s always a good idea to discuss medications that you plan to take with your doctor, especially if you’re already taking other prescription medications (whether they’re for inflammation or not).
Corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation from stiff muscles and joints. While this treatment option may not be extremely beneficial to those suffering from arthritis, it does often work in mild cases. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Supplements for Stiff Joints
Many supplements serve as amazing body stiffness remedies. You can also try essential oils and even CBD creams and oils such as those found at Floyds of Leadville. These are natural remedies that can help you avoid using medications.
You may also try taking fish oil supplements or consuming flaxseed. Fish oil contains unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids that lubricate your joints. The recommended dose is 300 milligrams (mg) per day.
Flaxseed also contains omega-3 fatty acids as well as alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA, which can help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms of joint stiffness.
When to See Your Doctor
If your stiffness comes on suddenly or doesn’t resolve after about a week, it’s time to contact your doctor. You should be sure to let them know about symptoms that you’re experiencing such as severe pain, swelling, inability to move, or intense redness and heat to the touch. Even though joint stiffness isn’t that uncommon, it could be a sign of something more serious so don’t try toughing it out on your own without enlisting the help of a professional.
Writers can be prone to stiff muscles and joints after hours of sitting. It’s important to maintain good and proper posture while you’re working in order to avoid inflammation. And make sure to drink plenty of fluids, preferably water to help your body stay hydrated.
If you’re prone to stiff joints in the morning, you may benefit from incorporating an evening routine to prepare for the following day. Set up a carpool for taking the kids to school or make lunch and lay out all of your essentials so that you don’t have to spend time in the morning worrying about it. It’s also a good idea to invest in certain home office necessities such as back support for your chair or dual monitors to reduce strain.
Whatever you do to ease the pain of stiff muscles and joints, make sure to take it slow. Stress can have a significant impact on how you’re feeling so try to be aware of your pain but not focused on it.