Simple lifestyle changes to relieve joint pain

If you struggle with joint pain, your daily life can be affected in more ways than one. Fortunately, you don’t have to undergo regular physical discomfort. Instead, it’s possible to get relief by making simple lifestyle changes to help reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling.

Although addressing the underlying causes of your pain should always be your primary strategy, certain lifestyle changes can improve your quality of life, increase your productivity, and restore your health.

In this article, we will share 10 steps to reduce joint discomfort. Let’s get started!

Lead a more active lifestyle

Whether that means taking daily walks around your neighborhood, biking to the office, or joining a local gym, maintaining an active lifestyle is key when it comes to reducing joint pain.

Naturally, the joint pain you’re experiencing makes it tempting to rest as much as possible. However, a sedentary lifestyle will decrease your mobility and strength, weaken your immune system, and make you more susceptible to chronic diseases. So make sure to break the vicious cycle by engaging in regular activity and light stretching exercises.

Focus on improving your posture

According to recent estimates, 20.3 million people in the UK suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as arthritis. Furthermore, the proportion of adults in England diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis increased by almost 40% between 2004 and 2020.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to delay the onset of arthritis or reduce the symptoms of joint pain, including focusing on your posture. Correct standing can relieve pressure on the spine, hips and lower back, thus reducing stress on the joints.

Choose low-impact exercise routines

As seen above, incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is essential to healthy living. However, when it comes to managing joint pain and avoiding injury, you should choose low-impact exercises that don’t involve repetitive motion.

For example, swimming, water aerobics, walking, yoga, and other activities that don’t involve jumping or heavy lifting can help keep your joints safe while promoting good muscle strength.

Adjust your diet to reduce pain and inflammation

One of the most common treatments used by people struggling with arthritis is opioid medication. Although effective, these drugs are highly addictive and increase rates of opioid use disorders in the UK.

Fortunately, there are more natural and healthy alternatives to reducing the joint pain you’re experiencing, starting with eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods like nuts, seeds, oily fish, and dark leafy vegetables are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds that can help you better manage joint pain from overuse, injury, or arthritis.

Additionally, you should avoid foods that promote inflammation, such as refined sugars and saturated or trans fats.

Improve your mobility, flexibility and balance

Improving mobility, flexibility, and balance through low-impact exercises can help you improve your joint range of motion, reduce inflammation, and relieve swelling. Furthermore, greater mobility allows for free and safe movement, thus reducing the risk of injury and falls.

If you don’t know how to get started, studies have shown that practicing yoga poses can play an important role in reducing joint tenderness and swelling, strengthening mental health, and relieving arthritis symptoms.

Try non-invasive treatments to reduce pain

Another way to reduce joint pain is through non-invasive or natural therapies. For example, non-surgical knee relief options such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and physical therapy can help reduce discomfort and inflammation around the joint.

Additionally, hot or cold compresses can help provide some temporary relief if your joints become sore or stiff after activity. Other options include topical creams and gels containing anti-inflammatory agents and over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen.

Get enough sleep every night

Sleep and rest are just luxuries. While you sleep, your body performs essential functions needed to reduce stress and inflammation, allowing damaged tissue to repair and heal. Ideally, you should aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to keep your joints healthy and strong.

Take supplements to fight inflammation

Certain supplements, also known as nutrients, can help you naturally reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and lubricate and strengthen joints. Some supplements you should consider adding to your diet include fish oil, omega-3s, turmeric, and curcumin.

However, do not forget that most foods are not regulated by health authorities and you should always consult your doctor before introducing them into your diet.

Reduce your stress levels

Another important change to make in your lifestyle to relieve joint pain is to better manage your stress levels. Stress can lead to oxidative damage and increase inflammation, which can worsen any existing joint pain. Some methods to relieve stress include mind-body activities such as yoga or Tai Chi, regular exercise, meditation, and spending time outdoors.

Work with a physical therapist

Although the above strategies can help you manage your joint pain, don’t forget to treat the underlying cause of your disease. Work with a physical therapist or arthritis specialist to get a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

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