Chronic stiffness and discomfort can be debilitating, unpleasant and frustrating. Although most people experience joint stiffness or muscle pain at some point in their lives, chronic discomfort can be incapacitating and draining.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to tackle this problem. Whether you’re experiencing pain because of an established condition, such as arthritis, or you’re in pain due to lifestyle factors, such as poor posture, there are steps you can take to alleviate discomfort, such as:
Hot and Cold Therapy
Temperature can have a significant impact on joint pain and muscle stiffness. Many people find that a hot shower or bath relieves tension and promotes relaxation. This helps minimize stiffness, thus reducing your discomfort and increasing your range of motion.
Cold therapy, such as applying a gel ice pack, can work well for joint inflammation, pain, and swelling, while heat therapy is often recommended for maintaining looseness in the joints. Heat pads and hot water bottles can be an effective and safe way to apply heat to the affected areas.
See Also: Contrast Shower Health Benefits
Change Your Mattress
Many people experience joint pain and muscle stiffness when they first wake up in the morning. If you routinely experience discomfort upon waking, it is important to assess your sleeping arrangements. You may find that your mattress is causing or contributing to the ongoing pain you’re experiencing.
Switching to another mattress is often the most effective way to tackle this problem. Memory foam mattresses, in particular, are particularly beneficial for people who experience stiffness or discomfort. As the mattress contours to your body and provides targeted support, it minimizes the pressure on your joints throughout the night.
Often, sleeping on the right type of mattress affects your sleep quality too. If you routinely wake up because you’re uncomfortable, you may find that memory foam enables you to sleep through the night. Try one if you’re a light sleeper and keep a sleep journal so you can note the changes.
With the right mattress, you can successfully eradicate discomfort and enhance your sleep quality too.
Related Reading: The Role Your Mattress Plays in Dealing with a Chronic Back Injury
When you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, exercise can be the last thing you want to do. However, if your doctor doesn’t advise against it, extra movement may actually help to relieve your pain. By engaging in gentle exercise, you are encouraging the joints to loosen. As a result, they will be less stiff and uncomfortable.
When you make exercise an essential part of your daily routine, the effect is amplified, which can lead to long-term relief from stiffness and discomfort. Exercise that has a reduced impact on joints may be the most beneficial, so why not try cycling, swimming or yoga to relieve joint stiffness?
Mindfulness and Meditation
Dealing with chronic discomfort or an ongoing health problem can affect your emotional well-being, as well as your physical health. In some cases, how people think about their discomfort increases the impact it has on their mind and their lifestyle.
Both mindfulness and meditation can be used to reduce our perception of pain and discomfort.
According to a study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain,
“Two hundred twenty-five chronic pain patients were studied following training in mindfulness meditation. Large and significant overall improvements were recorded post-intervention in physical and psychological status.”
When we successfully change our response to chronic joint or muscle stiffness, we reduce the impact it has on us. While you may still experience some physical discomfort, mindfulness and meditation can make it seem less invasive, detrimental and limiting.
Learn More: Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Concluding Thoughts – Taking a Natural Approach to Pain Relief
If you experience joint discomfort, pain or stiffness, there are a range of natural options to try. Whether your symptoms are caused by poor mattress quality, reduced movement or a medical condition, natural interventions can minimize your pain or relieve it entirely.
Read Next: DIY Joint Pain Relief