11 ways to lessen pain


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  1. Find a medical practitioner who is knowledgeable in pain management and treatment. Don’t get stuck with someone who tells you ‘that’s just the way it is’. There is so much research on new treatments to help with pain. Make sure your doctor is up-to-date.
  1. Get a regular massage from a qualified practitioner. It will improve blood flow to the joints, loosen tight muscles and may release some pain in the process.
  1. Gentle stretching and movements, from certain yoga practices, can help ease pain and stiffness for people with arthritis. They can also help to build strength, improve flexibility and increase the range of motion in certain joints. The meditation element of yoga is also helpful for stress relief.
  1. Meditation is a broad term, which is used to describe a variety of mind-body practices. It is proven to not only relax the mind, but also ease arthritis pain and reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation techniques are designed to reduce emotional reactivity and reduce inflammation. They are especially useful for rheumatoid arthritis.
  1. Practicing deep breathing is an effective way to relax, by quietening both the mind and body. Deep breathing is something you can do on your own at any time. It’s also absolutely free! A number deep breathing techniques can be used for relaxation. In nearly all deep breathing techniques, the aim is to move from ‘upper chest breathing’ to ‘abdominal breathing’. To do this effectively, it’s a good idea to find a quiet, relaxed space where you won’t be disturbed for 10 to 20 minutes.
  1. Acupuncture can help reduce arthritis pain. While it is not currently funded by Medicare, current research suggests it is an effective way of dealing with arthritic pain. In China, acupuncture has been used to treat joint pain and inflammation for over 2000 years. The Arthritis Foundation quotes Tim Rhudy, a licensed acupuncturist in the department of pain management at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. He explains that acupuncture helps to reduce pain by “releasing tight, spasmed and shortened muscles” and returning them to their natural state.
  1. Low-Level Laser Therapy, also called “Cold Laser”, is the use of laser/LED light to reduce pain and promote tissue healing. Light therapy works on the body’s cells and seeks to treat the underlying causes of pain rather than simply masking them. It is painless, non-invasive and has no side effects. There is some evidence that LLLT works for rheumatoid arthritis. For osteoarthritis the studies show conflicting information. It might work for some people, but not for others. Read more here and here. Make sure to trial it, before spending hundreds of dollars on a hand laser.
  1. Epsom salt baths are a cheap and efficient way to relax your tight muscles, painful joints and stressed mind. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate that gets absorbed through the skin when added to a hot bath. If you are struggling to get in and out of a bathtub, try footbaths instead. Search for good quality Epsom salt online. Buy in bulk to save money.
  1. Exercise is very beneficial for arthritis patients. It improves blood flow, increases your happy hormones and strengthens your muscles. It’s not always easy to do if you suffer from joint pain and restricted mobility. Therefore, take the time to find a suitable low-impact exercise like hydrotherapy, walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates or riding a stationary bike. Talk to a physiotherapist for advice!
  1. The evidence is growing that turmeric does not only provide flavour to your dishes. This brightly coloured spice also packs an anti-inflammatory punch. It needs to be taken in combination with piperine (black pepper extract) and fat for best absorption. Add it to foods, try capsules or search for ‘golden paste’ and make your own mix.
  1. Anything that helps your mood will also help your pain. Why? Because our happy hormones are strong painkillers. So, stay active, go outdoors and get plenty of daylight, have a laugh with your neighbours and be social. Pain can be isolating and restricting, so it may seem hard sometimes to get out and about. If you can find a sweet spot between activity and rest, company and me-time, your health will thank you for it.

What are your top tips to manage joint pain? Please share your experience in the comments.