It’s very common to start to feel some joint pain as we get older, especially if we’ve pushed our bodies enjoying all the wonders that life has to offer. So, if you are experiencing joint pain, you’re not alone. While medication is there to relieve your joint pain, there are lots of lifestyle solutions that you could try to help manage mild discomfort before turning to regular painkillers. What’s more, by caring for your body in a more holistic way, you can manage joint pain and improve your overall health. Here are five suggestions to try.
- Move more, sit less
Have you heard the saying ‘use it or lose it’? It turns out, our bodies thrive when we keep moving. Regular exercise helps strengthen our muscles and joints, reducing the risk of injury and alleviating pain. But you don’t have to run a marathon—small increments of movement throughout the day make a difference. Even taking a walk around your garden or pacing while catching up with a friend on the phone can make a difference.
- Stretch and strengthen
Stretching and strengthening the muscles that support our joints is an important element of managing joint pain. Activities such as yoga or Pilates not only improve flexibility but also help to build strength. Start with gentle stretches and exercises, gradually increasing in intensity and duration to prevent injury. These practices might have the added benefit of bringing a sense of calm to your day.
- Watch your weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for joint health. When we carry excess weight, our joints endure more strain, leading to increased pain. Eating a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables and lean proteins can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. A nutritious diet also helps reduce inflammation that could be contributing to your joint pain.
- Soothe with heat
Heat can be a fantastic way to soothe joint pain. In its simplest form, using heat to soothe your body can look like taking a relaxing warm bath or enjoying a gentle flow of warm water in the shower. If you need a little more, you can also use a heating pad or warm compress to provide targeted relief to your achy joints. With heat, moderation is key—too much can cause further damage and increase inflammation. So, find what feels just right for you and ask your doctor if you’re not sure how to use heat to soothe your joint pain.
- Try natural supplements
Nature has a way of offering us remedies, and natural supplements can be a good addition to your joint pain management routine. While the scientific studies are largely inconclusive, some people have reported that glucosamine has helped to reduce their joint pain, while omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric possess anti-inflammatory properties. Before you embark on a new supplement regimen, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor.
There are plenty of lifestyle tweaks you can try to manage the mild joint pain that comes with a life well lived. If you try some of the tips we’ve suggested you might find that you’re not just managing pain or discomfort, you’re boosting your overall health and wellbeing too.
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