Making The Most Of Your Morning With Psoriatic Arthritis
Sometimes it could be a sharp pain in my knee that would wake me in the middle of the night. Most of the time, it starts the moment I first open my eyes in the morning.
Moving just one leg to adjust my body beneath the covers, I could feel the stiffness in my knee and ankle. I find myself already defeated before starting the day. I think I speak for all persons with psoriatic arthritis when I say that morning can be literally, a huge pain.
Tips to help with psoriatic morning pain
During moments of inactivity such as sitting for long periods of time or sleeping, the inflammatory liquid will build up around the joint areas. This causes them to feel stiff and painful when moved. Low temperatures, typically from sleeping in an air-conditioned room, also affect blood circulation in the body.
This can contribute to the discomfort. How long this lasts each morning differs from person to person. It could be 30 minutes for someone or more than an hour for another. But there are a few things we can do to help us make the most of our mornings.
Keep warm to avoid pain
When we fall asleep, our body temperatures naturally drop due to a biological process called thermoregulation. That is how our bodies prepare us for bedtime. We need to ensure that our bedroom temperature is not too low at night so that we can keep warm throughout our sleep.
This also helps relieve our joints from the usual morning stiffness and pain. An insulating cover and socks for your ankles and toes can also help to give you a better morning by keeping your body warm. It’s all about finding the right balance for the best possible rest you need.
Warm clothes on cold mornings
We all loved that feeling of putting on nice warm clothes - straight out of the dryer. Well, before you get dressed in the mornings: heat those clothes up!
You can iron them or put them in the dry for a couple of minutes. The heat will soothe your skin and help with those stiff joints.
Avoid cold showers
Reward yourself for getting out of bed with a warm or hot shower. If you have a bathtub, feel free to take a 10 to 20-minute soak. Although most people prefer to do this at the end of the day to also help them relax and unwind. A morning soak could be a weekend treat.
These showers and soaks do wonders for the joints by improving blood circulation throughout your body and loosening your muscles and joints. This allows for greater mobility throughout the day. If you can afford one, consider adding a towel warmer to your bathroom as well, nobody likes a blast of cool air hitting them after a relaxing time.
Only if absolutely necessary due to an existing flare-up in a particular joint or an area in your body, and only if you and your doctor have discussed the treatment plan, you may consider taking prescribed corticosteroids in the morning.
This approach could soothe the inflammation and relieve you of the pain. Many sources advise against taking your prescription at night because steroids can affect your sleep.
Make the most of the morning
I have had to make changes to my morning routine over the years and although it is slightly inconvenient and takes longer, it assures me of a better day and over time, has really helped my emotional health too. Hopefully, these few tips help you.
Do you have tips to help with the dreaded morning pain? Share them here.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?