Most people wake up feeling a little stiff and tight – then stretch to ease out their body. Why should this happen?
Well when we sleep our spinal discs absorb water and “plump up”, but also cells called fibroblasts in the fluid between our tissue layers secrete a protein that acts as a glue to stick tissue layers together. In essence the adhesions mainly occur between connective tissue bands called myofascia.
When we stretch, we literally flush this glue away and this allows the tissue layers to slide again. If we allowed gluey fibre to stick our myofascial layers together not only would it reduce movement but could quite possibly increase pain by impinging on nerves. Many chronic pain conditions are thought to be linked (in part at least) to this “fuzzing up” of our myofascia.
The famous anatomist Gil Hedley explains this process brilliantly in the attached link (PLEASE NOTE CONTAINS IMAGES FROM A DISSECTION)
So get up and shake it out every morning! Just a few minutes stretching will really help reduce stiff and increase that feeling of wellbeing.