The Doctors: What Causes Joint Pain? + Solutions For Better Sleep

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The Doctors: Morning Stiffness

On The Doctors, Dr. Travis Stork asked who in the audience woke up stiff and sore with difficulty moving. A majority of the audience raised their hands, as well as Dr. Drew Ordon. Dr. Stork said the morning stiffness is normal, but one woman named Donna wanted to know how much stiffness was normal and how long should it last?

Donna shared that when she wakes up in the morning, her joints are so stiff that she feels like the tin man. She said she even has to figure out how to get out of bed, and most of the time it involves a mixture of a roll and slide. So why is she so stiff in the morning and what can she do to make it better?

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The Doctors: What Causes Joint Pain? + Solutions For Better Sleep

The Doctors tackled the issue of morning stiffness and joint pain, and gave tips for ways to avoid waking up in pain. (Bartek Zyczynski / Shutterstock.com)

Donna shared that she doesn’t do a lot of exercise, but she walks the harbor every day. She said she feels most stiff in her lower back, and about an hour into the day she starts to feel better. Dr. Ordon explained that as you get older, there are reasons why your body becomes so stiff.

The Drs TV: Possible Causes of Back Pain

Dr. Rachael Ross explained that there could be many reasons for waking up with back pain. She said one of the reasons could be how you’re sleeping. She explained that we have a natural curve in our back and while we sleep, our back takes on an unnatural position. Dr. Ross said that finding a solution could be as easy as changing your sleep patterns or your mattress, or sometimes even a lower back pillow support.

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Dr. Stork shared that if you lay on your side with a pillow between your legs could help.

Dr. Stork said it’s normal to wake up a little stiff in the morning, but over time, our joints can develop different kinds of arthritis. With prolonged back pain, you want to get evaluated to make sure it’s just normal stiffness.

The Doctors set Donna up for a follow-up with Dr. Tim Davis, a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, to do an evaluation and make sure her stiffness isn’t something serious.

The Doctors: The Keys To A Good Nights Sleep

Dr. Drew Ordon then shared that one viewer contacted them about her struggle with losing sleep. He invited to the show Dr. Raj Dasgupta to help Kristen get a better nights sleep.

Kristen explained that because of her work schedule, she often has trouble falling asleep and then wakes up the next day not feeling rested. She heard that lack of sleep can impair your health and wanted to know if it was true.

Dr. Raj said he thinks of sleep as just as necessary as eating and breathing. Dr. Ordon said the reasons why we need sleep is “as simple as ABC.”

The A stands for attitude, because you feel awesome when you get a good night’s sleep. B stands for beauty, because studies show that sleep deprived people appear less healthy, less attractive, and more tired, compared to when they’ve had a good night’s sleep. C is for cognitive function because sleep deprivation affects alertness and cognitive function.

Kristen shared that she’s always glued to her phone, especially right before bed. Dr. Raj said when you go to bed, you want to transition to sleep. Dr. Ordon said studies show if you close your eyes, relax, and take deep breaths, it may help your transition to sleep.

The Drs TV: Solutions For Better Sleep

Dr. Ordon then shared three things that could help Kristen achieve a better night’s sleep. The first one was a new pillow. Research shows that we should change our pillow every six months.

The second thing was a fan because Dr. Ordon explained that when the temperature is nice and cool, we tend to sleep better.

The third thing was ZzzQuil. Dr. Raj recommended it for occasional use saying it was non-habit forming. Dr. Ordon then sent everyone home with a $100 Walmart gift card.

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