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How do you manage RA morning stiffness?
Over the last year I have finally managed to stabilize my RA. I have tried so many medications and it has been a real roller coaster. At last, I am on Remicade and feeling good,,, except for the mornings. I am fine all day but in the mornings, I am just so stiff and it takes me almost two hours to be able to move. Then I am fine all day. The next day it is the same story. I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to get moving faster because I lose so much time each day.

When I was still working outside of my home, I learned that setting my alarm at 4:00 AM and taking my medications at that times was the best way to avoid the stiffness. I would take them and then go back to sleep waking up later without any measurable stiffness. The timing of the medications can make a big impact of your mornings.

There is no way I could do that. When I wake up at night, I always have a terrible time getting back to sleep. Thanks for the suggestion and I understand how it could work, but not with my poor ability to sleep. I need something for the morning. It would be great it somebody invented a fast acting injection or something like that. I would have no problem having a shot to get going.

My RA is much better now and the morning stiffness is rare. When I do get stiffness, the best remedy has always been a hot bath or shower. All that blood flow does wonders to reduce the stiffness. I learned to really appreciate the hot water even though I never liked it much before I was diagnosed.

I am not sure a daily shot would work for me. I suffer every time I have to give myself the Enbrel and methotrexate. That is one very painful shot. For me, the morning shower and some stretches have been the best way to get going. If I do the exercise, I get limber much more quickly. It is not as easy as a needle, but that is what I can offer.

Showering every other night is what I usually do because it takes me so long to dry all my hair. I know I am vain but my hair is my best feature!!! My boyfriend also showers at night because he is always up very late. The morning shower just never occurred to me.

Do you have an electric blanket? If so, it might be worth putting it on for a little while before you go to sleep, and then again in the morning. I have an underblanket that is safe to leave on all night if necessary, and I find it very helpful in the colder weather. When I wake up, I switch on the blanket, then my husband goes and gets me a drink and some painkillers. After about half an hour, the stiffness has eased enough for me to get moving.
Hi for my hands which are not good I run hot then cold water and place them under this for a few minutes. Need to take painkillers in bed sometimes before I get up too, this will help wit the pain but not stiffness. Have found an electric blanket a help too.
I have found that the colder I get at night, the more stiffness that I seem to have the next morning. If I have an arm out from under the covers, that arm and shoulder will be the one that hurts the most. I usually sleep with an electric blanket in the winter time, and then warm myself up before I get out of bed, and then I do much better.
Otherwise, I will immediately take a hot shower and that always helps with the stiffness. The heat on my body really makes a difference, and then I still move carefully for the next hour so I don't bend wrong and pull something out of place. I have found that this also happens to me first thing in the morning, so I try to start moving around, and limbering myself up, but carefully.
Later, I can usually do more bending and such safely, and then start with more active things.
I also often take a hot shower before bed, and that seems to help the poor circulation, and helps me to sleep better, so I can wake up easier the next day.

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