We talked about alleviating joint pain through diet. But what are some other techniques that you can do right now to dial down the pain?
First off is stress management. Stress induces the production of certain chemicals that negatively impact your immune system. This triggers inflammation throughout your body resulting in more pain. It’s important to have a daily stress management practice in place and if you’re looking for somewhere to start, just try breathing. If you’re someone who sits for a large part of the day, chances are you’re breathing incorrectly.
So step one: Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose until your lungs are full. You should notice an expansion of your lower rib cage and abdomen rather than an upward motion of your chest. It’s called belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.
Step two: Once you’ve inhaled completely, hold your breath for three to seven seconds. This allows for the proper exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. Your shoulder should be pulled back and your head looking forward to maintain an open airway.
Step 3: Release all of the air through your mouth with a whooshing sound. As you exhale, visualize your cells releasing waste and absorbing energy. This form of mindful breathing helps release muscle tension. You can start off by doing this for five minutes and work your way up to 15 to 20. Breathwork is highly underrated.
Next up: We have alternating between hot and cold treatments. The cold reduces swelling, joint pain, and inflammation. Heat loosens up muscles, increases flexibility, and circulation.
For heat treatments, soak in a warm bath or hot tub for 20 minutes or take a warm shower. You can also use an electric blanket, a heating pad, or take a damp washcloth and put it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Wrap that in a dry towel and apply it to the painful area.
For cold therapy, use an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel and apply it for 20 minutes at a time.
And lastly: Get moving. A low-impact exercise program is strongly recommended. It strengthens your muscles, maintains healthy body weight, and reduces stress on your joints.
Try Tai Chi. In just six weeks, it significantly improved balance, endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and pain management. It’s especially beneficial due to a combination of meditation, relaxation, breathing techniques with low impact exercise. It’s working out while activating your parasympathetic nervous system.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are a ton of free videos online demonstrating the technique. Comment below if you’ve been experiencing joint pain.