Chronic stiffness is when the muscles in your body feel tight and become difficult to move, particularly after you have been resting. While most of us are likely to experience mild levels of stiffness at some points in our lives, it is something that often gets worse with age and can have a damaging effect on your overall mobility.

Living with chronic stiffness is not easy and can be distressing to both your physical and emotional health. So, we have put together five steps to ease the chronic stiffness you are experiencing and improve your mobility.

Get Enough Sleep 

When you suffer from chronic stiffness, it can be difficult to get to sleep at night as the pain and discomfort can keep you awake. However, getting the rest that your body needs can make all the difference in managing your condition. When your body and mind are well-rested, you are more likely to be able to deal with stiffness and promote healing. Be sure to practice good sleep habits by making your bedroom a dark and cool place and stick to a sleep schedule to ensure you get the sleep you need.

Enjoy a Massage

If you suffer from chronic stiffness, then you will find that getting regular massages from a professional can really help ease the discomfort and make it easier for you to work on your mobility. Massages help you to relax your body and focus on healing.

While you may find it difficult to find the time or strength to head down to your local masseuse regularly, investing in a massage chair means you can experience a plethora of health benefits from the comfort of your own home.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

One of the last things you feel like doing when you suffer from chronic stiffness is to engage in exercise and physical activity, but it can be the most effective method of improving your mobility. Exercise can help to reduce pain and stiffness, as it helps to strengthen muscles and supports your joints.

Exercise can also help to make you feel better emotionally, as it releases endorphins that can relieve pain while boosting your mood. However, be sure to consult with a medical professional before engaging in exercise and remember to always take it slowly. Forcing your body to do exercise it is not ready for can worsen your condition. 

Hot or Cold Compress

You may find that applying hot or cold compresses to your joints and muscles can help to ease chronic stiffness and find it easier to move around. Warm compresses can help to increase the blood flow for sore muscles and loosens up stiff joints. Heat therapy often includes hot water bottles, a hot bath, or an electric heating pad.

However, if you suffer from chronic stiffness as a result of arthritis and joint inflammation, a cold compress may be more effective. This can bring down inflamed joints and also slow down nerve impulses, which can block pain signals.

Stretch

Your body is made to move around, so even if you aren’t very mobile because of your chronic stiffness, inactivity can make your pain worse. Therefore, we recommend that you engage in small stretch exercises throughout the day to try and help you maintain and build up your mobility.

Yoga is particularly popular amongst chronic stiffness sufferers as it helps to gently stretch your body and focus on your breathing.

Living with chronic stiffness is not easy, and it can make even the simplest daily activities difficult to manage. However, by following these steps, you can work towards easing your stiffness and improve your mobility.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "5 Steps to Easing Chronic Stiffness and Improving Mobility," in Medicalopedia, June 18, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8981/5-steps-to-easing-chronic-stiffness-and-improving-mobility/].