Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Community Thoughts: Handling RA Stiffness in the Mornings

Community Thoughts: Handling RA Stiffness in the Mornings

Colder weather can hit with full force – and mornings, especially winter mornings, can be a challenge for many people with rheumatoid arthritis. So we asked our Facebook community: What tips do you have for managing morning stiffness? Check out their responses below and feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!

Warmth is Key
As hot of a shower as you can manage

  • I take a hot bath most days and a quick shower afterwards
  • I do a long bath with medicated oils at night and a hot shower in the morning
  • I stand under a hot shower to get going. Gentle hugs
  • The shower is the best part of my day

Do the dishes in hot water to loosen my hands

  • I will wash the dishes or just soak my hands in hot water if they are stiff
  • I soak my hands in very hot water for a few minutes, with or without dishes
  • Washing dishes is good therapy

Stretch it Out
Range of motion exercises can help

  • I start doing range of motion exercises before I even get out of bed in the morning
  • Swimming early in the morning lessens the stiffness
  • I exercise before I get out of bed – lots of stretching too
  • I do upper torso exercises by standing feet together, arms straight out, clasped hands, tummy in and twist from side to side

Slow morning stretching can loosen you up

  • I get up at 5am and sit on the bed a while to try and ease the pain by moving about
  • I set my alarm so I can hit snooze and spend the time slowly stretching every inch of my body
  • I take a few minutes to stretch before getting up

Plan Ahead
Getting ready the night before helps

  • I try to shower in the evening – it’s easier to dress in PJs and just go to bed
  • The less I do in the morning, the better – I go as far as to pre-do my makeup and hair at night
  • I lay out clothes the night before and I cook and package lunches for the week on the weekends
  • I do most things the night before – especially opening the coffee jar and making sure the kettle is full

Take a pill and wait it out

  • I get up a half hour before my alarm to take pills then I sleep or lounge around while I wait for them to kick in
  • I give my body an extra 10-15 minutes after taking a pain pill in the morning
  • I get up and do necessities, then go back to bed, take my pain medicine and drink my coffee and let the stiffness go away

Mental Preparation
Prayer and meditation

  • I keep praying every day and live one day at a time
  • I wake up and pray – time with the Lord helps
  • I sit on the couch and do a morning meditation

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

  • Hot coffee is a must
  • My wonderful husband brings me coffee
  • I hit the coffee and pace up and down the kitchen for a while

Stay positive as much as possible

  • Staying positive goes a long way as to how my day goes
  • For me, it’s mind over matter – I know I have to get up and get moving… I always have a smile on my face and a positive attitude, that is how I get through my worst days
  • I try to keep a good attitude going, even when the pain is still there

How about you? Do you experience morning stiffness? And if so, how do you manage it? Have hot showers become a part of your daily regimen? Or maybe you get ready the night before? Share your thoughts with us below!


  • jan curtice
    4 years ago

    Great ideas. I sleep with an electric blanket … it keeps the joints and muscles warm. This makes it easier for them to move in the morning or for those night-time bathroom runs. I also keep my meds by bed and take those before getting up. Then while they are kicking in, I do some gentle stretching. Mornings are never easy. It is nice to have my sweet, little kitty to encourage me with purrs and warm snuggles. TLC works =^^=

  • Jennifer Mason
    4 years ago

    Thank you so much for your wonderful insight, I could sure use it.
    My question is; since RA is an autoimmune disease could taking 3-5,000 units of vitamin C help?
    I know RA is a complicated disease and there are many whose meds have to be infused and something such as Vitamin C would hit bottom of the list, certainly not a cure.
    I’d been taking vitamin C at 3-5,000 units a day and I seemed to have felt much better, now I’ve not had any for about two months and my forefinger, my thumb, the entire hand is going through a terrible crisis.
    I’ve gotten to the point where simple things like using a can opener is increasingly more difficult to use, punching the keypad on my stationary bike causes pain,washing dishes sometimes causes difficulties, holding large objects such as pots from oven to counter is becoming more unsteady.
    The grand daddy of them all is; playing the piano and that’s my bread and butter.
    I am not advocating Vitamin C as a cure all nor am I hinting it’s healing properties, I was just wondering because I’ve never experienced such pain in various joints until now.

  • Poll