Morning pain, stiffness and recovery time


Senior member
Nov 17, 2021
Like many of you, I feel certain, I wake up every single morning stiff, with a lot of pain all over my body, and it takes me at minimum 2 hours before I can really accomplish anything.

The first thing I always do when I wake up, after steadying myself and making sure my balance is okay, is get myself a tall cold glass of water and a mug of coffee. I take these and my morning meds to the dining table, with my phone, turn on the heating pad I have attached to the back of my dining chair, and basically sit, sip water, drink coffee, and work on my phone for about 2 hours before my pain and stiffness subsides and I can get about my day.

I do get up every 15 to 20 minutes and walk around the house, do some stretches, but then come back to the dining table again. This is how my every morning is.

I'm wondering how many of you reading this also can't do much of anything upon Awakening for hours. I would love to hear the experiences of others in our forum. I'm sure I'm not alone, but I'm curious as to how common this is. It is frustrating. It is typically the worst time of my day, and despite doing everything I can to treat myself during this time, it seems like it will be the norm forever. What is your morning like?
Well I'm not supposed to use swear words, but mine's the pits. After a bad night where I wake every time I turn over, ( my husband says I cry out in pain every time) I am one of those where the stiffness never goes away. It's a 24 hr a day thing for me. Mainly neck, and shoulders,that's the worse,but also in the knees and ankles. I think of it as my concrete overcoat.😞 the different pain is in my back and hands and wrists.

I also take water with some meds, about 6am, then sort out mad cats out, hobbling like I'm 100. Wash ( too unsteady to shower until later on day) dress,sitting down as my little reserve of energy is zapped by then.
I take a cocodamol for pain,and naproxen for inflammation. My grip is really poor, my hands just don't want to work in some ways, breakfasts a struggle. But I do move around a lot, or shuffle I guess.

We try a walk about 10am, just 20 mins or so,then I rest. It's not until about midday I feel I can move a bit more freely. That's when I can do house stuff, and occasionally 1\2 hr in the garden. So about 6 hours for me into it eases a bit.. Evenings are actually my better times stiffness and pain wise.

But it never goes away, every move I make has a consequence of pain or discomfort. Some fibromyalgia, some arthritis probably, Don't know for sure yet.

But,I do my best, I move as much as I can without setting off the chronic fatigue, and do stretches and a set chair yoga, and starting the meditation.But does the stiffness ever go? For me, no. Just gotta keep going and I don't feel so alone when I come onto the forum.

When you write bit down its a pretty stark reminder of how bad our days can be isnt it? Sorry if it sounds too gloomy but this is now it is. Not what I want but mentally I am pretty ok, which is a bonus and I am still managing to smile and appreciate the small\now big things we have all spoken of . 🌞😍

Made me thinking suddenly of the old Star Trek - " It's Life Jim,But Not As We Know It ! " 😂
Thanks for your response @SBee 😊

Sad to say, but it is some comfort that I'm not alone. Of course, that is part of what this group is for. Knowing that we are not alone.

My day, my pain, everything sounds exactly like yours. The only difference I could find is that I do sleep soundly throughout the night without waking up, and that is a blessing. Unfortunately though, I have a form of insomnia where I wake up too early and therefore do not get enough sleep. So sometimes I need to force myself to take a nap during the day.

Concrete overcoat. What a APT way of putting it. That's what it feels like a lot of the time. Like you, I begin to loosen up a little bit later in the day, typically in the mid-afternoon. Sometimes I don't know how I get all things done that I need to get done. Living alone, I do not have a helpmate so life sometimes seems overwhelming, which it just happens to be right now.

Yes, thank goodness we have this forum and one another. It does indeed make what we go through a little easier, and most importantly, what a wonderful resource this has been for me for my mental health. I am glad to hear that you also have a good attitude and are mostly positive. That comes through in your posts, and I think that there is a mind-body connection. I always have. I think that one affects the other, so positive thoughts, happy thoughts, socialization with others you like, gratitude, etc are a very very important part of our treatment. 🥰
I think most of us feel a slight guilt @JamieMarc when we can empathise with others in similar situations. It's not that we would wish this on anyone of course, but it's such a relief when someone else just gets how we feel. And for me, it's kind of validating things too, I still have a little self doubt about my health and think - irrationally - that maybe I am just not strong enough, some of its in my head. Which is so stupid as in rational life I know it's real. ( this thought process is a leftover from a seriously bad hormonal imbalance , that's my bad bad dip into rock bottom mental health. Flawed myself up and I am so proud of that. Thanks hormones.😬 ) I just need to get over these stupid doubts.

Although living alone can make it feel impossible to get the jobs done, even with someone I feel a sense of guilt when he takes on some of the tasks I used to do? This can make me want to do more than my body is able to do without consequences! Easy to say but try not to feel overwhelmed, prioritise ( like us list people do 😂 ) and try to even balance of work, without paying for it later, physically or mentally, - because that's not being kind to yourself JamieMarc. ( I'm a Sarah btw if it's easier!). The top priority is YOU. Remember to always give yourself credit for what you do achieve, not just beat yourself up on the things you couldn't get done.

Don't forget I am in the early stages of diagnosis, so how I am now, may not be where I am in the future, and I still have a first rheumatologist appt to unravel what's going on for me. In time, I may have access to appropriate drugs.

Mind body connection 100% agree. Work on that balance, it's who we are. I know I feel that . 😍🌞
think most of us feel a slight guilt

such a relief when someone else just gets how we feel
Yes, I do feel that slight guilt because of course we would never want to wish this on anyone. Yet there is that relief that someone gets me. A strange combination. LOL
even balance of work, without paying for it later, physically or mentally, - because that's not being kind to yourself JamieMarc.
I appreciate you reminding me of this, and it is something I need to work harder on. Every day I invariably set impossible goals for myself. And that in itself takes a mental toll because I never accomplish all of those impossible goals that day. I think what you say is more important than I previously considered. Somehow, hearing it from you makes me realize more than I ever did that that balance is incredibly important. I really must discipline myself and work harder on that.
m a Sarah btw if
So nice to know your name! Hey Sarah! LOL 🤗
Hey you @JamieMarc

I think we all out a lot of pressure on ourselves to push ourselves further than we should. I think for me I am still comparing myself with what I could achieve when my health was stronger. And even when it was deteriorating I didn't know better and pushed and of course it got worse. It's in a lot of our characters, a personal standard maybe, to set unachievable goals ( because in the last they were achievable) But our circumstances health wise have altered and somewhat reluctantly I know I have no option but to slow down. Balance it out.

Should add that not moving enough of course affects my body negatively, and if we don't push ourselves enough it can affect us mentally! Finding that sweet spot of balance. Which I am sure none of us get right all the time.

And life means some days we have no choice but to react to each day, any little ( or big ) emergency needs dealing with immediately. I just try to remember if so have been forced to exert too much, the next day or so I have to react by resting more.

And hearing things from someone else is sometimes easier to accept than if we think it ourselves - almost like " permission " to be kinder to ourselves. Fibromyalgia and any health conditions we have alongside aren't very forgiving. I my mind I know it's a real work in progress, almost like some have said on here to almost stop and think before we act.

At the end of the day we are all just doing the best we can, and hopefully all learning from others and crucially ourselves.😬

Kindness my friend, make that today's key word! 🌞😍

And I wish everyone the best day they can have.
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s in a lot of our characters, a personal standard maybe, to set unachievable goals ( because in the last they were achievable) But
First of all. Thank you Sarah for wishing us a good day, and I wish you the same.

Being productive, getting things done, working... These are all things that have been a part of me since I was a middle school student. So yeah, it's especially difficult to change such long-standing habits and standards we set for ourselves.

I am gradually beginning to accept, for example, not being able to do much the first two to three hours of every day, as hard as that is for me to wrap my head around. But baby steps, and practicing acceptance will eventually get me to that finish line so to speak. Same goes for other parts of my day and other days of my week.
Should add that not moving enough of course affects my body negatively, an
This is one of my cornerstones of healing. Or at least not progressing or getting worse. Movement movement movement. I can't stress enough to everyone, but mostly myself of course, how important activity and movement is, not just because we have fibromyalgia but also as we age our bodies break down like machines. They get rusty, they get stiff, things start to break and snap etc. The way to keep a old machine running is to provide it with regular maintenance, right? Can't just let it sit in a corner of the shed and expect it to work without a hitch 3 years later. And even then, it might be too late to fix that darn machine. So that's why I always stress the importance of movement and activity. Only as much as you can. Don't have to overdo it. We may have to push ourselves a little bit yes. But I guarantee anyone reading this that if you lead a sedentary lifestyle by choice you're doing yourself a great disservice and certainly no favors at all.

I know this is been discussed probably endlessly in our forum, but I don't think it can never be discussed too much. And you never know who might be reading this who hasn't read about the importance of exercise with fibromyalgia or simply aging.
And it's worked discussing it again @JamieMarc I think I have been too cautious in not doing enough exercise. I move a lot, so a sort walk and some yoga but am holding back too much out of fear I will set of the fatigue.
So, taking note of your above post I am going to gradually increase my yoga, two short sessions a day and build things up gradually.

Look At me taking your advice when I don't always take my own. Again,hearing it from someone else and it sinks in better and clearer !
I know this is been discussed probably endlessly in our forum, but I don't think it can never be discussed too much. And you never know who might be reading this who hasn't read about the importance of exercise with fibromyalgia or simply aging.
I agree with this completely. And, as you say, it cannot really be discussed too much. I think all of us need a little encouragement at times, and need to be reminded gently about things that we already know but might at times allow to slide. I know that even though it's the advice I give constantly to other people, sometimes I need someone to say it to me, too.
Speaking of morning routines and stiffness and whatnot, I wanted to share a stretch that I do every morning. Actually, a series of stretches for my neck.

Most of us probably wake up very stiff, especially in the back and neck areas. I'm sure we all have our go to stretch for our backs, but maybe not our necks, so I wanted to share what my physical therapist taught me years ago.

Every morning, I sit in a straight back chair. Not a reclining chair, not a soft couch, but a straight back chair. This helps with my morning back stiffness. I have my coffee and my big mug of water in front of me. Again, I've said it before, but even more important than our beloved coffee, I believe everyone should be drinking plenty of water every morning first thing. Remember, our bodies have gone anywhere from 6 to 10 hours without any water at all. So it is crying out for hydration.

As I sit in my straight back chair, for my neck, I do two types of stretches. I will describe each one below.

The first, sitting in my straight back chair, not slouching, I take my right hand, put it close to the crown of my head and gently press my head down with my face facing my armpit. Then I gently press on the crown of my head, moving my face towards my armpit and getting that lovely stretch in my neck. It's important in the morning since we are so stiff to do this gently. Later in the day as we loosen up we can do both of these stretches less gently. I hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, and gently increase the pressure on the back of my head, but without causing too much pain. I can tolerate and accept a little bit of pain, but too much can be too much in the morning. I repeat this with my left arm facing my left armpit. This is a wonderful wonderful stretch and feels so great! It's one of my favorite stretches! If I have not explained it properly, please let me know and I will try to be more specific.

The second neck stretch I do every morning is, again sitting erect in a straight back chair, putting my right hand underneath my thigh, and placing my left hand on the right side of my head just above my ear. Then I gradually stretch my neck, pulling it to my left shoulder. Again, I hold this for 20 to 30 seconds and can repeat as often as needed. I repeat the same thing with my left hand beneath my thigh and my right hand above my ear on my right side, stretching gently toward my right shoulder.

Both of these, done gently at first, give me great relief for my neck pain and stiffness every morning. And as I begin to warm up, I will do them again with a little more force, a little more stretch. I do these throughout the day as needed, but gently in the morning. Every morning. Along with my water and my coffee, and my back stretches of course, it's the best way to start my day.
I like that first one as I also feel a slight pull on my shoulders, which is another stiff spot for me. I do stretch well in bed before I get up and face the day. Neck stretches I do throughout the day as part of some yoga. Sometimes it can keep headaches at bay if feeling a bit stressy.

I do always rehydrate first thing to dehydrate but I am a strictly decaff girl. It is my lifes work to track down the best instant decaff I can .Can't be dealing with bad coffee.

Thanks for sharing am sure so many find stiffness one of the worse things to contend with. Is for me. Ta!
Well, for me, I usually wake up feeling pretty decent. As soon as I wake up, I have to take a shower because I know I need all the help I can get before the ugly aches and pains return. This usually takes an hour or so after I wake up. My pain intensifies as the day goes on. Me and my multitude of heating pads hang out off and on throughout the day and by 4:30pm, I’m done for the day.
multitude of heating pads han
Amen! Thank goodness for heating pads. I also have mine pretty much permanently affixed to my main seating areas.
Hi all, I guess we're not morning people 😉
Mornings are probably worse for me, more so in the last few years, particularly during winter. Quite stiff and sore on waking, I'll move slowly, take Pregabalin, splash some cold water on my face and open the back door to get some fresh air.

After a shower and clear up I have to take a rest as I'll be wiped out and aching like hell. This is when I'll spend ten minutes deep breathing before attempting anything else.

It can be mid afternoon before things ease off a bit, but then if I decide to tackle something like light housework, there an awful ache and stiffness that hits after taking a break.

Crazy to think what it's like for us being sore and tired before doing anything and worse after. No wonder it gets more difficult since we have to keep moving as has been pointed out in the thread.