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Mornings can be a challenge.  Some of us are naturally “morning people”, others are “night owls”.  However, regardless of our natural inclinations, one thing is fairly universal as we get older… morning stiffness creeps into our muscles and joints.

Fortunately, massage therapists in Halifax can help seniors manage that discomfort.

The stiffness in seniors’ muscles and joints after sleeping is often due to inflammation causing them to tighten up while relatively still overnight; even “restless sleepers”, don’t move nearly as much overnight as they do throughout the day.  For seniors, this underlying inflammation may be due to a number of issues including weakness in the muscles and/or osteoarthritis in the joints. Massage therapists in Halifax are often asked by their clients what they can do in the morning to relieve that discomfort.

There are many strategies and exercises that seniors can use to prevent or lessen morning stiffness.  Physiotherapists and massage therapists in Halifax can evaluate the situation and teach their clients methods that meet their individual needs best.  However, there are some simple solutions that can often provide relief for seniors that wake up and feel like they need a can of WD-40 to get moving!

Here are three of my favourite solutions for morning stiffness (and I think massage therapists in Halifax would also agree with them!).


Difficulty with gripping and other activities requiring dexterity in the hands can make it difficult for seniors to get through their morning routine.  These symptoms can be improved by doing range-of-motion exercises in a warm water bath.  I often suggest placing the hands in a bathroom sink filled with warm water for about 5 minutes.  While in the water, seniors should gently open and close their fists and wiggle their fingers around.  This can be very helpful for hands that are stiff due to osteoarthritis. For those that continue having stiffness in the hands throughout the day, consider booking with a Zoomers massage therapist in Halifax to help manage the situation better.


Stiffness in the knees and hips can make walking and using stairs difficult in the morning for seniors. An easy trick is to do gentle range-of-motion exercises before getting out of bed.  While lying on the back with the knees bent, slide one heel down and out toward the end of the bed and then bring it back up to the starting position.  Seniors should repeat this 10-20 times on each side to get the hip and knee joints moving and stimulate circulation in the soft tissues.  These movements should not be painful but may feel tight and should improve as the movement is repeated. You can also consult with Zoomers physiotherapists or massage therapists in Halifax for more information about this exercise.

Lower Back

A simple knee-to-chest stretch while lying on the back can be helpful for seniors that find it difficult to bend forward to get their socks and shoes on (something massage therapists often hear their clients saying).  One note, for seniors with reduced/low bone density (ie: osteoporosis), consulting with Zoomers’ physiotherapists or massage therapists in Halifax is an important step before starting this stretch.  One of the best solutions for lower back morning stiffness is for seniors to sleep on their side with a pillow between the knees.  This position keeps the spine in a more neutral position and potentially reduce inflammation in the spinal joints overnight. Massage therapists in Halifax will often prescribe this exercise to their clients who have back pain.

Remember, although morning muscle and joint stiffness is very common for Halifax seniors, it is not necessarily inevitable.  If you’re struggling to get moving at the start of your day, talk to Zoomers’ physiotherapists or massage therapists in Halifax about the solutions that will work best for you.

Book an assessment with Zoomers

Use our online booking tool to find a time that works for you!