If you are struggling with joint pain, your daily life might be affected in more than one way. Luckily, you don’t have to succumb to regular physical discomfort! Instead, it is possible to get relief by making simple lifestyle changes that will help reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling.
Although addressing the underlying causes of your pain should always be your go-to strategy, some lifestyle changes can improve your quality of life, boost your productivity, and restore your health.
In this article, we’ll share 10 steps for reducing joint-related discomfort. Let’s get started!
Lead a More Active Lifestyle
Whether it means taking daily walks in your neighborhood, riding your bike to the office, or joining the local gym, maintaining an active lifestyle is essential when it comes to reducing joint pain.
Naturally, the joint pain you experience makes it tempting to rest as much as possible. However, a sedentary lifestyle will reduce your mobility and strength, weaken your immune system, and expose you to chronic conditions. So, make sure to break the vicious circle by engaging in regular activities and light stretching exercises.
Focus on Improving Your Posture
According to recent estimations, 20.3 million people in the UK suffer from musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as arthritis. What’s more, the proportion of the adult population in England diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis increased by nearly 40% between 2004 and 2020.
Luckily, there is a lot that you can do to delay the onset of arthritis or reduce the symptoms of joint pain, including focusing on your posture. Standing correctly can release pressure on the spine, hips, and lower back, thus reducing stress on the joints.
Choose Low-Impact Exercise Routines
As seen above, implementing exercise routines into your lifestyle is crucial to living healthily. However, when it comes to managing joint pain and avoiding injury, you should choose low-impact exercises that don’t involve repetitive movements.
For example, swimming, water aerobics, walking, yoga, and other activities that don’t involve jumping or extensive weight bearing 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 joint pain is to resort to opioid medications. Although efficient, these medications have been seen to be highly addictive and increase the rate of opiate use disorders across the UK.
Luckily, there are more natural and beneficial alternatives to reduce the joint pain you are experiencing, starting with adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods such as nuts, seeds, oily fish, and dark leafy vegetables are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds that can help you better manage the pain deriving from joint misuse, injury, or arthritis.
Additionally, you should avoid pro-inflammatory foods 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’s range of motion, reduce inflammation, and ease swelling. What’s more, greater mobility allows you to perform movements freely and safely, thus reducing the risk of injuries and falls.
If you are unsure how to start, studies have shown that practicing disciplines such as yoga can play an important role in reducing joint tenderness and swelling, boosting mental health, and easing the symptoms of arthritis.
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 may 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 Each Night
Sleep and rest are all but luxuries! While you sleep, your body carries out essential functions that are needed to reduce stress and inflammation, thus allowing damaged tissue to regenerate and heal itself. Ideally, you should aim to get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night so that your joints stay healthy and strong.
Take Supplements to Combat Inflammation
Some supplements – also known as nutraceuticals – can help you naturally relieve inflammation, ease pain, and lubricate and strengthen the joints. Some supplements you should consider introducing into your diet include fish oil, Omega-3s, turmeric, and curcumin.
However, don’t forget that most nutraceuticals are not regulated by healthcare authorities, and you should always consult your doctor before introducing them into your diet.
Lower Your Stress Levels
Another important change to make to your lifestyle to ease joint pain is to better manage stress levels. Stress can lead to oxidative damage and increase inflammation, which can worsen any existing joint pain. Some stress-relieving techniques include practicing mind-body activities like yoga or Tai Chi, exercising regularly, meditating, and spending time outdoors.
Work With a Physical Therapist
Although the strategies above can help you manage your joint pain, don’t forget to treat the underlying cause of your condition. Partner with a physical therapist or arthritis expert to get a custom treatment plan designed around your needs.