10 Stress Relievers to Reduce Arthritis Pain

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

It doesn’t take a scientific study to know that pain and stress are closely linked. When stress piles up, it has physical effects.

Practicing yoga as little as once a week for 90 minutes can help reduce stress in your joints and ease pain.

For people who have osteoarthritis, the most common reason for joint pain, stress can add to the pain. So, it makes a lot of sense to reduce your stress.

Follow these 10 tips to help you manage stress — and your arthritis.

1. Exercise

As you exercise, your brain produces chemicals called endorphins, which act as natural painkillers. Swimming, biking and walking are all activities that are easy on the joints, and they get your body moving and your blood pumping. If you have access to a warm water pool, gentle movement in the pool is an ideal way to loosen stiff joints. The endorphins released during exercise also help you sleep better, which further reduces stress.

2. Get a Massage

Massage can help soothe your painful joints and muscles, relieve anxiety and even help you sleep better. Researchers have reported that getting regular massages leads to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall joint function. Studies also have shown that moderate pressure applied during massage can lower the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost production of serotonin, which can improve mood.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating the right foods, combined with exercise, can help you maintain a good weight. Losing excess weight is especially important for people who have arthritis and other joint problems, because the extra pounds increase stress on your body and joints. To improve joint and overall health, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and food high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts and olive oil.

4. Get an Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture, a therapy that has been practiced for thousands of years, uses very fine needles at specific points in your body to open blockages and restore the flow of energy throughout your body. Acupuncture stimulates the brain to release serotonin and endorphins, which help reduce pain and anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being.

5. Keep a Journal

Sometimes the thoughts in your head get out of perspective and escalate your fears and tension. The extra stress affects your body and may make arthritis pain harder to bear. Writing worries down in a journal can provide release and relief as you unburden yourself on paper. Once you’ve put your feelings in writing and re-read your thoughts, you may acquire a more objective (or more positive) perspective on your life.

6. Take a Relaxing Bath10 Stress Relievers to Reduce Arthritis Pain - In Content

Soak in warm water for 20 minutes or longer to increase a sense of well-being, support your sore joints, reduce swelling and inflammation and increase circulation. Add Epsom salts, which are known to ease pain. Drink water before and afterward to stay well hydrated. To enhance a feeling of tranquility, light some candles and pour yourself a glass of red wine. Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which may help decrease damage to blood vessels and prevent blood clots.

7. Do Yoga

Yoga stretches your muscles and builds strength, as it brings you better awareness of your body. It relaxes both your mind and body. Practicing yoga as little as once a week for 90 minutes can help reduce stress in your joints and ease pain.

8. Meditate

Clear and calm your mind as you sit on the floor with legs crossed or sit up straight in a comfortable chair with both feet on the floor. Listen to a guided meditation or soothing music, or simply sit quietly. Try focusing on your breath or repeating an inspirational word or phrase to help you stay in the present moment and let go of worries and stresses.

9. Unleash Your Creativity

Find an outlet to express your creativity. It might be painting or photography or jewelry making. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that absorbs your full attention and allows you to relax and forget about physical discomfort or other worries in your life.

10. Do Something that Makes You Laugh

Laughter reduces stress hormones and releases powerful endorphins to relieve stress and tension in your body. Watch a funny movie or read a funny book. Play with children or spend time with a pet. Call a friend who makes you laugh.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Small Steps: Make a List
List your daily routines, then brainstorm how assistive devices could help you.