Living with Joint Pain
Millions of people around the world live with joint pain every single day. If you are experiencing pain from joint damage or other health problems, daily medication may provide some relief. However if you are concerned about side effects, or are interested in finding natural alternatives that may help you and your doctor reduce or eliminate your pain management medicines, there are some daily habits that may help.
A full night of uninterrupted sleep is crucial, and often difficult to get, for people dealing with pain. During deep REM sleep your body repairs damage and clears away stress hormones associated with pain. It is important to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep you may find it helpful to eliminate caffeine and alcohol, and ensure that your bedroom is as dark as possible and is not too warm. You may also find it is easier to fall asleep if you go to bed as soon as it is dark outside and if you eliminate TV in the bedroom.
Smokers often say having a cigarette helps them relax and has a numbing effect. However, if you are suffering from pain, smoking is only worsening your problem. Nicotine reduces circulation and slows your body’s healing process, which can only increase your pain in the long run. If you are a smoker, consider this one more reason to quit.
Diet can play a big part in reducing inflammation and damage associated with conditions that cause pain. It is important to avoid foods that spike your blood sugar or are known to contribute to inflammation, such as gluten and omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils and processed foods. While omega-6 fatty acids contribute to the problem, omega-3 fatty acids have the opposite effect. Omega-3’s are a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory substance, and as you probably know, inflammation is a major cause of pain. Getting enough omega-3’s from food can be difficult, so consider supplementation. Omega XL® contains up to 22 times more omega-3 free fatty acids than regular fish oil.
When you are in pain, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do. However, even mild exercise for a short time can help increase circulation, loosen stiff joints, and release endorphins that counteract stress hormones. Try low-impact activities like swimming, yoga, or just going for a walk around the neighborhood to boost your mood and help promote healing