8 Ways to Alleviate Morning Stiffness

Morning stiffness is an issue for many people, but those of us with fibromyalgia find it even more problematic. Depending on the position you sleep in or the quality of your sleep, you may be more or less stiff on any given day.

According to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association there are a lot of things you can do to alleviate morning stiffness.

1. Start writing
One suggestion is to write down your concerns, issues, to-do list, etc., at night so they don’t keep you awake. Tossing and turning over issues you’re wrestling with wreak havoc on your sleep quality.

2. Bundle up
Keeping warm is essential in helping to prevent stiffness. Having enough blankets, using a space heater and covering your windows should provide you with a warm and comfortable sleep environment.

MORE: Seven physical therapy treatments to try if you have fibromyalgia

3. Take a hot shower
Standing under the hot water of a shower helps to not only relax those stiff muscles, but will also get your blood circulating. It’s a relaxing way to wake up in the morning. After you’ve warmed up from the shower you can try some deep knee bends while holding on to a chair or counter for balance.

4. Watch your diet
Eat healthy foods that contain few ingredients. Avoid toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners, food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, and simple carbs like white flour and white sugar.

5. Drink clean
Drink clean water, either filtered or bottled. You may not aware but many large cities, such as Los Angeles, have traces of pharmaceutical drugs in their tap water. These toxins can build up in your system over time, causing more pain.

MORE: Eight facts you probably didn’t know about fibromyalgia.

6. Get moving
Getting some exercise will greatly improve your health. Try aiming for 10,000 steps daily. Just go out and do something physical.

7. Stretch
Try some gentle stretches before getting out of bed to relax some of those muscles that have stiffened overnight. Start with some  stretches lying down and then some sitting up. Gentle side-to-side stretches will really help.

8. Adjust your bedtime routine
According to Everyday Health, there are three things you should avoid before bedtime: caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. They can increase your morning stiffness substantially due to the stimulatory effects on your body.

The best thing to do is practice good sleep habits, incorporating these tips whenever you can. Gently stretch and do what you can to warm up and relax your muscles.

MORE: Eight types of fibromyalgia pain

Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


  1. Grace from Australia says:

    I start most mornings with a set of stretches. I do them lying down except for one where I sit in bed and try to touch my toes. I have not yet reaches the stage where I can do this without bending my knees a bit but it does give a good stretch. Lately I added to this last one lowering my head towards my chest. It’s very uncomfortable but I think it very much needed. Also, don’t walk barefoot right out of bed. Get some good slippers. That helps with the foot pain.

  2. Kelly says:

    10,000 steps a day is a great goal for a healthy, active person. This is just the same information you get anywhere. If you are going to go out of your way to make it fibro-specific, then make it fibro specific.

    Such as gentle exercise, like swimming a few laps in a pool is much more beneficial than trying to reach 10,000 steps in a day.

    A few more of these type of cookie cutter articles and I’m unsubscribing as these are useless.

  3. Marcia says:

    Thank you for raising this subject. I am unable to walk far due to my disabilities & frequently I am bed bound as have other medical conditions in addition to fibro. The things I use to ease joint stiffness, calm inflammation and lack of muscular elasticity also include gentle stretching; my tip – make slow circles with feet and wrists (especially the feet before sleep as this can relax, so less painful on waking). Even stretching your face by raising eyebrows, holding tongue in position to touch roof of mouth for a few seconds can help with jaw & neck stiffness. I also recommend when able to undertake gentle swimming in a calm environment, or hydrotherapy (this could be at home using a foot spa or with magnesium salts in a bath for at least 20minutes) if no access to hospital hydro facilities. Take a warm jacuzzi (but always in moderation as pummelling can have adverse affects), gentle aromatherapy (or even just the aroma of essential oils when it is too painful to be touched), heat pads and heat patches (follow instructions carefully, stick on thin clothing, never direct to skin), and I try to always keep a light weight cotton neck scarf (even if you think you won’t need it) to guard against drafts & maintain body warmth. Avoid all caffeine, sip herbal teas (hot or cold) instead. Reduce intake of toxins (from diet, toiletries & pollution).

  4. Kris says:

    I have a problem right away with the hot shower. I have severe reactions to heat, especially hot showers, baths and hot tubs. Nausea, exhaustion, weakness and dizziness result from too much humid heat in my particular case. I might as well run a marathon.

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