How to cope with the chronic pain of arthritis

Chronic pain from arthritis can disrupt your everyday life. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to…

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How to cope with the chronic pain of arthritis
Foto: Flickr / Navy

Chronic pain from arthritis can disrupt your everyday life. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to manage joint inflammation and to help keep pain under control, without having to go overboard with medications. Make relief a part of your lifestyle.

Exercise soothes the body

Even if you suffer from joint inflammation, you can still workout and stay in shape. In fact, exercise is an integral part of arthritis management. According to the Arthritis Foundation, exercise reduces pain, stiffness, and inflammation while also building muscles around the joints. Walking, cycling, swimming, weight training, and other low impact activities support joints and can, over the long run, help to manage chronic pain. They also give you that feel good feeling from the natural release of endorphins, not to mention the added benefits of reducing the risk for major illnesses like heart disease.

Hot and cold relief

You have access to quick and natural relief of joint pain in your home, warm water and ice. When you wake up, jump in a hot shower to stimulate circulation and ease stiffness. For deep pain, place an ice pack over affected areas for 10 minutes. A warm ginger compress can also offer some relief. Slip into a soothing bath with Epsom salts and relaxing herbs like lavender and chamomile at the end of the day to soothe aches before going to sleep. Experiment with hot and cold therapy to find what works for you. Using these simple, natural treatments can make getting through the day much more comfortable and can give you more control over how you feel.

Therapy options for chronic pain

Drug therapy is an essential part of treating joint pain and inflammation. Talk to your doctor about using other therapies as well to help you cope. Relying too heavily on medications does come with some risk, particularly with chronic use. According to the Natural Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, acupuncture has been found to be helpful for chronic pain relief. Massage therapy is another potentially beneficial treatment for arthritis sufferers. Mind body medicine techniques such as yoga and tai-chi can help with both the physical and emotional obstacles, relieving stress and improving well-being.

Take advantage of the small things that you can do on your own to make your body feel better, like a relaxing walk or a soothing bath. Don’t think that you are limited to medications. There are so many complementary therapies that can help. Dealing with chronic joint pain will always be a challenge. Accept the challenge, improve your health, and enjoy life.