Living with joint pain can be a test of your freedom. Many who suffer from chronic joint pain find themselves unable to be as independent as they once were. This can be very frustrating, and for some, lead to anxiety and depression. Given that it’s July and Independence Day is around the corner in the U.S., this blog will focus on how you can celebrate freedom from joint pain.
Ahhhhh….the freedom and independence to move. These values are important to many, yet often compromised, especially as we age. We may find ourselves relying on others or on devices to support our ability to move when we have chronic joint pain or suffer from fatigue, energy, or balance issues. But, it doesn’t always need to be this way.
So, here are some ways to find freedom from chronic joint pain so you can celebrate independence.
- Move Regularly within Your Limits-Chronic pain often worsens with lack of movement. While movement also can make the pain worse, it helps to move in ways in which you can keep fluid moving through your joints and promote circulation when you have chronic inflammation and pain. Lack of movement can decrease blood circulation, and lead to lymphatic congestion which can result in problems with swelling, tissue inflammation, fibrin formation, and increasing pain. Current recommendations for exercise for adults is 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly.
- Move safely-Take measures to move safely to avoid falling. Be realistic in what you need to do to support safe movement. Get my free 4 Easy Tips on How to Manage Pain with Exercise.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet-You may have joint pain from eating certain foods. Many times, people are unaware that gluten, dairy, or specific foods are causing inflammation and joint pain. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce inflammation and pain. Food sensitivity testing can help to further identify foods that may need to be limited on a short or longer-term basis.
- Uncover hidden causes of joint pain-There is a lot to unpack with chronic joint pain. What causes joint pain for one person can be different for another person. To add further confusion, there are often multiple causes behind the pain. Functional lab testing can help to identify food sensitivities, gut imbalances, infections, hormone imbalances, or other potential causes of joint pain. Just taking medications to reduce the pain doesn’t fix the root causes of the pain. Get off the cycle of trial and error to figure out what imbalances in your body may be contributing to joint pain.
- Ditch the dependence and addiction-Sugar, alcohol, and gluten are substances that we can become dependent on or addicted to. These can all contribute to joint pain. Moderation or total abstinence from some substances may be needed to control joint pain. It’s not your fault you crave any of these. Your body and your brain naturally develop a dependence on these and they can become downright addictions. Coaching can help support you with diet and lifestyle changes that are best for you. For example, if you drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol, one diet change may be to try substituting alcohol with a mocktail. A nice addition to a mocktail is alcohol-free bitters. They are also good for digestion.
- Find Your Tribe-Finding those that can best help you recover movement without pain may take more than one practitioner. Finding the right tribe can be challenging. You may have been already going to multiple practitioners and are still frustrated with not making the progress you would like to. It may require a functional practitioner to help you uncover hidden causes of chronic joint pain, a chiropractor to support proper body alignment, a physical therapist or occupational therapist, a medical doctor, a health coach, and/or other practitioners to help support you on your recovery journey.
Even though finding your freedom from joint pain is a cause for celebration, it is a journey. It takes commitment, resilience, patience, and the right support through the journey.
I am a Master’s prepared RN, National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Board-Certified Functional Wellness Coach, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I help people fix their chronic inflammation & pain with in-home lab testing, client assessments, personalized natural healing protocols, and online coaching to help them move from pain to peace so that they feel better, move better, and live better.