The real question is ...Why does inflammation increase overnight??????
Many patients explain to me how they felt better going to bed and then wake up with strong pain and have a difficult time getting out of bed. Consider this, inflammation is a chemical response that acts like a fluid in the soft tissues of the body. I always thought of red food coloring permeating an area. Think of the soft tissues of the body like a sponge.
If you had a dirty sponge and put it into a bucket of water, the dirt would eventually diffuse out of the sponge, but if you wanted the dirt to move out of the sponge more quickly, you would reach it and squeeze the sponge. So think of the soft tissues of the body as a sponge, and when you are moving around during the day and your soft tissues are being compressed and squeezed, the inflammation in the tissue is forced to move around and is picked up by the blood flow and moved away from that area of the body. However, when you are sleeping, you are not moving and the inflammation that is in that area is not forced to be moved around because the soft tissues are not being squeezed because your are lying still, and that inflammation festers and results in a very localized area of increased inflammation, which in turn results in increased pain and stiffness.
Therefore, you wake up with stronger pain and have a hard time moving to get out of bed. What will fix this? Doing something to reduce the inflammation before you hit the sack, such as over the counter anti-inflammatory medication (when advised by your primary care physician) and icing, can be a smart choice for a routine to reduce pain.
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