How Diet and Exercise Can Ease Your Pain
An ailment that affects your joints affects much more than just your mobility. When you can’t get around without constantly feeling pain, you may experience emotional distress along with physical symptoms. While you might already take medications to prevent joint pain, did you know that you can get relief with proper nutrition and exercise too?
Common Causes of Joint Pain
Pain in the joints can be caused by several factors. The main culprit is inflammation, which can occur for multiple reasons.
Arthritis is the most common cause of pain in and around the joints, and the condition is a collective name for more than 100 joint diseases. More than 53 million Americans have some kind of arthritis.
Possible symptoms of arthritis include:
- Decreased range of motion
Much of the pain from arthritis is caused by inflammation. Arthritis sufferers can experience relief by eating foods that diminish inflammation and staying away from foods that trigger pain.
Fibromyalgia comes in a close second to arthritis as a cause for painful joints. It is often misdiagnosed, and many people don’t know that they have the disorder.
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
A healthy lifestyle, stress management, and exercise play a major role in controlling symptoms. People with arthritis are at an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia. These individuals should take extra consideration when it comes to eating the right foods.
- Inflammation of other origin
Achy joints can also be caused by an injury that affects the soft tissue surrounding the area. If you have an injury, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing inflammation can help you heal.
How Your Diet Can Reduce Joint Pain
Although diet is not a magic cure for pain, it can strengthen your immunity, build up your bones, and fight inflammation. Certain foods can also make symptoms worse.
Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower levels of compounds that are related to inflammation. Eating fish may actually help to reduce morning joint stiffness, the number of aching joints, and the intensity of the pain – so much so that some may be able to cut back on pain relieving medication! Fish is also high in vitamin D. Sufficient vitamin D levels may play a role in the severity of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Other foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Egg yolks
Garlic is beneficial for your overall health. It can also decrease pain experienced in the joints as garlic can lower inflammatory markers that are associated with arthritis.
Berries are packed full of antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Quercetin, another compound found in berries, can obstruct some inflammatory processes that are linked with arthritis.
Ginger extract can help with the stiffness you feel when you get up in the morning. Its pain-relieving effects can be just as strong as non-prescription pain relievers. This may be due to its ability to block inflammation-producing substances in the body. Ginger can be consumed fresh, dried, or as a supplement.
Simple Exercises for Achy Joints
Staying active when you’re feeling pain can be challenging. Achy joints can make many types of exercise feel agonizing. However, exercising can help maintain flexibility, reduce pain, and fight fatigue. Warming up, doing a variety of different exercises, taking time to stretch, and using props to support your body can help you get your body moving and avoid injury.
Walking is gentle and can be done anywhere. It allows you to use your body’s resistance to burn calories without impacting the joints excessively. Walking will help you control your weight, which will also relieve pressure from your joints.
- Strength Training
Strong muscles can protect your joints. Implementing a weight-training regimen can help you maintain the strength that you already have and further increase muscle tissue and strength.
- Body Awareness Exercises
Gentle yoga or tai chi exercises can help you create a mind-body connection that can help you manage a condition that causes pain in the joints. These types of exercises improve balance, coordination, and posture. Improving flexibility through yoga will loosen the connective tissues around muscles and joints and increase the range of motion which will help to relieve joint pain and stiffness.
Don’t Let Pain Stop You From Living The Life You Want!
Struggling with pain of any kind usually keeps you from doing the things that you want to do. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! Start relieving your pain by focusing on your nutrition and exercise habits. Eating foods that fight inflammation can significantly reduce your pain levels. Keeping your body moving with appropriate exercise can also help you maintain mobility, flexibility, and strength. Improving your diet and exercise habits will have you feeling better in no time!