How To Move Without Pain

Tips to Alleviate Everyday Joint Pains

by Meghan Griech, PT, DPT, cert MDT, CKTP

This article takes 6 minutes to read

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Our joints bear the burden of supporting and moving our body weight as we move, lift, and are active. It may be inevitable that as we age, play in the backyard, complete yard work, or any repetitive activity that our joints can become painful or irritated over time. But what does that mean? 

Years of everyday use can stress the cartilage and tissue that protect the joints, leading to potential osteoarthritis or other bony inflammatory processes that make our joints and movement painful. 

The most common causes of joint pain are:

Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Bursitis, Gout, Muscular strains, Ligament sprains

Learn why your joints hurt so you know what to do about it

No matter what type of joint pain you have, stiffness and aching joints can become your daily reality.

Learning ways to manage your joint pain so you can reduce the pain struggle and activity limitations will help reduce frustration and feeling limited while also keeping you as strong and mobile as long as possible.

Try these Tips to Reduce your Joint Pains so you can live the active life you want.

Practice Meditation

During periods of stress, the body releases hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, that increase your breathing and heart rate. Stress present for prolonged periods of time can keep levels of these chemicals elevated, which can lead to an increased inflammatory response in the body and added stress on the cardiovascular system due to high blood pressure.

Stress management techniques like box breathing and meditation are shown to calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates involuntary body functions such as temperature, lower blood pressure, and provides an almost immediate sense of calm.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for managing pain and promoting recovery.  Make sure you are promoting your best night’s sleep by reducing light, banning electronics in the bedroom, and most importantly making a routine of waking up and going to bed around the same time every day.

Take the free Joint Health Assessment to learn the potential impact of your current activity limitations

Move your body

Prolonged postures can cause abnormal pressure and strain on tissues that may lead to an increased risk of developing pain in that area.  A little movement can do a lot of good.

Stretches help to maintain your mobility and range of motion – and can help keep pain at bay.  Walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi are considered gentle on joints and good for newbies. 

Think About What you Eat

 Choosing foods that build bone mass, strengthen connective tissue, and reduce inflammation can help you preserve your joints and reduce inflammation for an active life. 

Developing a consistent diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and fish is found to help lower the inflammation markers in the blood.  Research has consistently backed the plant-based diet model to live a more active and healthy lifestyle.

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Stay Away from Sugar

 Avoiding excessive sugar can help in easing the pain of arthritis.  In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), research has shown that desserts and sugar-sweetened sodas were the two foods most often reported to make arthritis joint pain symptoms worse. 

Adjust your Computer Screen/Steering Wheel

The basic setup of the places where we spend the most time can cause your joints to ache, muscles to feel strained, and your body to feel rundown. Making sure your computer screen is set at eye level, your chair allows you to sit supported with your feet resting on the floor, and the keyboard placed to reduce wrist stress are all beneficial.

Additionally, car seats should be placed to help you sit in an upright position, with your hands comfortably able to rest on the steering wheel. For more ideas on posture care, click here

Know your Medications

Medications meant to help alleviate pain can help improve activity levels.  It is important, however, to understand the medicines you’re taking, what they can do for you and their side effects. 

Ask your pharmacist questions about possible side effects or alternatives to make sure you know all the facts. Also, for your overall health and safety, it is important to consider any possible interactions if you take other medications.

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Check your Footwear

 Shoes that do not provide support through the foot and arch, such as flip flops or flats, can cause a shortening of the step length,  which can lead to increased lower body fatigue, foot pain, and increased stress on the knees.

Recognize When you Need to Rest

Recognizing when your body is telling you to rest and not push through can be really important to your overall tolerance, not only for that day but the days ahead. Don’t push too hard to get things done on days when your body is telling you to rest. Set limits.

One of the best ways of alleviating joint pain is to get plenty of rest and relaxation when your body is giving signs that this is what you need. This will restore energy, as well as allow the body to repair itself naturally. 

No matter why you have joint pain or where it is,  managing the pain can become a daily reality. Learning ways to manage your joint pain so you can reduce the pain struggle is key to reducing frustration and feeling limited mobility.

Knowing all you can control and how best to manage joint pain is important so you can live the active life you want with the least amount of pain you can achieve. 

Take the free Joint Health Assessment to learn the potential impact of your current activity limitations​

*Disclaimer: All information in this article is intended for instruction and informational purposes. The author(s) are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result.  This information is used to supplement not replace any advice you were provided from your doctor or another medical health professional.  No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied with this article.

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