Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Getting out of morning stiffness


Hey everyone! I’m struggling with morning stiffness since my meds aren’t working as well. I won’t be able to see my rheumatologist for another two weeks so I’m just trying to deal with it till then. Anyone got any tips for how to get out of morning stiffness a little quicker or doing anything the night before I go to bed? I tried stretching the night before and it helps a little but I still feel it quite a bit in the morning and while I’m sleeping too.


I have the same problem with my back and knee hurting and stiff in the morning upon waking up.

So I sleep next to a heating pad (or on the heating pad— mine come WITH a timer so it turns off by itself—a bit more expensive but worth the investment. Buy from a reputable store and brand so less risk of burning your skin or bed!) I turn on my heating pad first thing in the morning before I get out of bed and it helps relax me enough to loosen some stiffness to get me going and out of bed.


Hi Hannah!
You mentioned the heating pad…have you tried ice packs? I use the soft, squishy ones. I use one for my lower back every morning and I’ve used them for neuropathy in my feet in the past.
I had no idea how much good cold packs could do. Even though I’m not having the terrible stiffness and pain I had before I went on Enbrel, I do have a little stiffness in the morning. The cold/ice pack “wakes my back up” and relieves any slight swelling.
Ugh, my back hurt so bad before I went on Enbrel. It felt great for the first 6 weeks after I started Enbrel, but then it “went out”. That was horrible…but it healed or whatever and I’m just really careful with lifting, etc. But that’s why I need the ice pack every morning. I was shocked cold packs work so well!


Hi there Humble Listener!

Are you sure you’ve got PsA with that screen name? Generally we’re such a rowdy bunch! :wink: Anyway, makes a lovely change! :grinning:

Morning stiffness is such a commonly used measure of disease activity that more effective meds have got to be the way to go. I hope your appointment turns out to be very productive.

Otherwise I think the answer to loosening up is movement. And if you’ve got a morning rush to get to work, that’s not so easy, of course. Ideally though, I think doing stretching exercises first thing in the morning would be more effective than at night.

And it’s not necessarily a ‘once & it’s over’ thing, you might need to keep up the movement throughout the day. Again, ideally you could do with some exercise that is purely therapeutic - a stroll, a swim, tai chi, yoga etc. etc. Failing that I find it helps to focus on at least some everyday movements with the concentration and relaxation I’d aim for if doing physio or something similar. So climbing stairs, walking from one place to another, wriggling feet / flexing hands / relaxing shoulders / doing leg lifts when sitting down … all these things will help loosen up your joints. I appreciate that just getting up or down stairs at all can be the focus, but if any movements are easy enough to focus on and get the most out of, it’s worth doing that rather than tensing up unnecessarily.

Combating stiffness is an ongoing battle but truly, every little bit of stretching, exercising and relaxing muscles does help.


@Grandma_J I tried cold/ice packs but my skin is super sensitive but I think I have borderline cold urticaria. I get rashes when I expose my skin to direct cold.(skin to skin).

So heating pad is my ally. But glad you have good results with ice/cold packs.


Coffee, breakfast, pain meds, muscle relaxer along with focalin to break through chronic fatigue and brain fog. After that get started moving. I just described what works for me.