Stress and Joint Pain

It is natural to develop joint pain as you get older. Your joint pain could also be the result of some injuries from exercise or sports. However, many people find it quite surprising that your mental health can also affect the health of your joints. In fact, there is a direct connection between stress and joint pain. Stress can affect your body in many ways you might not know, and the joint pain caused by stress can actually have significant effect on your day-to-day life. 

How Does Stress Cause Joint Pain?

You may develop anxiety joint pain due to many different causes. Here are some explanations of how stress causes joint pain.

  • Altered Movement: Panic or anxiety attacks can change the way you sit, move, and act. Overtime, it can lead to functional disabilities in certain areas of your body. It may become difficult for you to exercise. You may be spending more time resting, which in turn aggravates your anxiety and even causes other complications, including joint pain.
  • Stress Inflammation: When you have inflammation in the body, you are likely to experience joint pain along with many other issues. Stress can produce an inflammatory response in your body that can cause your joints to swell and become less mobile. The stiffness can make it difficult to move and do your day-to-day tasks.
  • Immune System Dysfunction: Stress and joint pain are linked because stress has a direct effect on your immune system, and a weakened immune system can make you feel joint pressure and distress.
  • Muscular Tension: You develop muscular tension when you are under stress for a long time. This makes your muscles become stiff and compels your joints to work harder. Pushing your joints too hard can cause inflammation and further discomfort.

It is important to mention that sometimes you have no underlying issue, but you may still sometimes experience joint pain. This could be the result of how you slept last night, or how long you have been sitting and working in front of your computer. However, you are likely to become more sensitive to these aches when you are under stress or have anxiety. It means you start feeling pain and aches that you would not feel when you do not have anxiety.

How to Deal with Stress Related Joint Pain

When you have stress and joint pain, you need to proceed carefully and look for ways that would first help reduce your stress. Here is an article about how do you handle stress, and with your stress coming down, there will be a relief in your joint pain. Here are some ways to deal with your stress related joint pain.

1. Use Epsom Salt Soak

A relaxing bath with Epsom salt can really help relieve muscle and joint pain. These salts are rich in sulfates and magnesium that your body can absorb quickly, which helps reduce inflammation in the body.

Fill your bathtub with warm water and add two cups of Epsom salts in it. Soak in it for at least 20 minutes to find relief from your joint pain.

2. Apply Hot and Cold Packs

A hot and cold approach may help you find immediate relief from your joint pain.

Take a hot therapeutic gel pack and apply it directly on your affected joint for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you should apply a cold ice pack on the same joint for another 20 minutes or so. This will help bring instant relief.

3. Be More Active

Stress can make you lose the ability to go out, exercise, and have fun with your friends and family. Not living an active life can make your muscles become stiff, which will make your joint pain worse.

Exercise regularly and talk to your doctor to learn more about some stretches and exercises to strengthen your muscles and joints. These strengthening exercises can lower your risk of experiencing injuries in the future.

4. Pay Attention to Your Diet

You can prevent chronic pain by making subtle changes to your diet. Chronic inflammation causes weakness and eventually leads to the death of tissue. You can prevent this damage by eating foods with anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds, cold-water fish, and walnuts are some great choices.
  • Include more fresh fruits and veggies in your diet to provide your body with antioxidants that eliminate free radicals.
  • Limit your intake of processed foods as well as foods that contain added sugars and trans-fats.

5. Take Supplements

Making changes to your diet really helps reduce stress and joint pain, but you may have to take supplements as well to get quick results. The following supplements may help reduce joint and bone problems:

  • Calcium Supplements: These supplements improve the overall health of your bones. Dairy products, dark leafy greens, and almonds are some natural sources of calcium, but you can find many supplements as well. Opt for the ones that also contain vitamin D which is essential for quick absorption of calcium.
  • Glucosamine: You can prepare a bone broth and enjoy it to get glucosamine. You can also take glucosamine supplements as well. Opt for the liquid supplements because your body can absorb them better.
  • SAMe: It works quite like ibuprofen to reduce pain and is essential for building stronger joints. You can get it from supplements. Be sure to look for supplements with "butanedisulfonate" mentioned on the label.

6. Try Massaging the Joints

You can always have a relaxing massage to relieve joint pain. While you can find professionals help you in this regard, you can also do it at home. Using a topical menthol rub works great to reduce pain. While massaging, always move your fingers toward your heart.

7. Rest

Along with trying remedies to deal with stress and joint pain, you should also take plenty of rest to relieve your pain. Just keep in mind that you do not overdo it and also exercise enough to keep your joints mobile. Nevertheless, you should seek immediate medical attention when your pain becomes worse or you notice your joints becoming deformed or inflamed.

8. Take Medications

When other remedies do not work, you may want to talk to your doctor and ask for some medications to relieve pain. You can always start with ibuprofen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but sometimes you need prescription muscle relaxants for relief.

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