The Connection Between Your Mental Health and Joint Health

Do you suffer from joint pain that has a mysterious cause you can’t figure out?

Joint pain can have a variety of causes such as injury or overuse. But there’s another cause you may be overlooking: mental health issues.

Your physical health and mental health are closely connected. Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and other emotional problems can throw your physical health out of balance. According to Healthline, “Some studies have found that chronic pain may be associated with higher levels of stress as well as increased levels of cortisol, which is the body’s main stress hormone.”

The good news is that if you make it a habit to practice stress relief techniques, you’ll be able to improve your emotional wellness and lessen joint pain. The American Psychological Association states that “For those who develop chronic pain conditions, stress-relieving activities have been shown to improve mood and daily function.”

Here are some ways you can restore your mental health and ease your joint pain…

Stretch and Practice Yoga to Feel More Relaxed

Woman doing yoga outside

Stretching regularly is an easy way to reduce your joint pain and feel more relaxed. Stretching not only increases your flexibility and widens your range of motion, but it also stimulates blood flow to your muscles, helping them gain strength. It even lowers your risk of further joint damage and pain.

You may want to try practicing yoga because of its emphasis on stretching. Yoga has been shown to reduce back and neck pain, ease symptoms of arthritis, and help protect against injury. Yoga is especially great for people with chronic stress. If stress constantly makes you feel irritated and bitter, yoga could be just what you need to brighten your mood and lift your spirits.

Meditate to Clear Your Mind

Family practicing meditation

Meditation is wonderful for mental health because it clears your mind and gives you a feeling of peace and comfort. If you’re worried about something in the future or upset about something in the past, meditation bypasses all that and brings you into the present moment. When you sit still in a quiet room, you release pressure on yourself to be busy and complete tasks. That’s why meditation is such a nice experience.

Meditation can be done while sitting in silence, humming or chanting, doing breathing exercises, or listening to a guided meditation audio. If you search the internet for “guided meditation,” there are plenty of free audio recordings to enhance your meditation experience. Another good thing about meditation is that it doesn’t just calm you down in the moment; it will also help you stay calm if stressful events come up later in the day.

Journal as an Outlet for Your Emotions

Man journaling

Journaling is important for stress relief because it’s an outlet for your emotions. When you’re experiencing stress from multiple sources at once, frantic thoughts swirl around your brain and weigh you down emotionally. This exacerbates joint pain. But pulling your deepest emotions out of you and putting them into words gives you a sense of release.

Writing in a journal, whether a physical or digital one, gives you a chance to express your raw feelings about whatever is upsetting you. After you do this, your emotional burden will feel lighter. Gratitude journaling is another way to become happier. This involves focusing on things you’re grateful for and finding reasons for joy. Journaling regularly will help you understand your emotions better and handle difficult emotions.

Massage Joints for Increased Blood Flow

Foot massage

Massage is incredibly helpful to those with joint pain, and the benefits are both physical and emotional. Massage increases blood flow, releases muscle tension, and enhances mobility. Several studies have shown that massage has positive effects on people with osteoarthritis, back pain, hand pain, fibromyalgia, and other painful conditions.

Getting a massage makes a difference for your mental health, too. Setting aside time to pamper yourself is a great way to focus on your own needs and practice self-care. As a result, your mood will become blissful and peaceful. No matter what’s causing your stress, you can escape through massage and let your mind and body rest.

Combine Mental and Physical Health for a Better You

Reducing your stress is important for joint pain. By doing these stress relief techniques regularly, you’ll feel more relaxed on an ongoing basis. With your emotions in a better state, you’ll start to feel better physically as well.

When you combine stress relief techniques with orthopaedic treatments such as physical therapy or surgery, your joint pain is likely to improve considerably, and in some cases go away completely! We’re here to help you overcome joint pain so you can live your life feeling physically and emotionally well. If you have joint pain, contact OrthoUnited today so that we can develop a treatment plan for you!