Expert tips for coping with persistent joint pain

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Joint pain can be a symptom of many different health conditions, such as arthritis, or it can simply be a sign of ageing.

According to Dr Dawn Harper, an NHS doctor for over 30 years and author of Live Well to 101, joint pain can be “emotionally and physically taxing” and impact the mental health of sufferers.

“Chronic or persistent pain can impact a person’s physical capabilities, ability to work and their relationships with loved ones,” she says. “Over time, these lifestyle restrictions can also affect sufferers’ mental and emotional health. As such, it’s important to find self-management strategies that not only support physical health, but also mental and emotional well-being.”

Dr Harper has shared her top tips for managing persistent joint pain.

Protect your mental wellbeing

If you suffer from joint pain, remember that you need to look after your mental health as well as your body.

“Almost three-quarters (73%) of joint pain sufferers have experienced anxiety or depression,” the expert explains. “To help protect your mental well-being, try implementing relaxation techniques that can support your ability to manage the emotions which may accompany joint pain. Meditation and breathing exercises are great options, or, if you’re able, try a gentle yoga flow or walk in nature.”

Talk to friends and family

Talking to your loved ones when you are going through a difficult time will help you feel supported and heard.

“It can be difficult for friends and family to feel connected when someone is dealing with chronic or persistent pain, but it’s important not to hide your pain from loved ones,” Dr Harper notes. “Communicating your symptoms and the way pain affects your life with family and friends can help them understand how to support you.”

Try proven treatments

Over-the-counter painkillers and lifestyle changes, such as regular, gentle exercise, are the most common treatments for joint pain.

“One option could be the galactolipid, GOPO, a compound derived from rosehip, with research indicating that it can effectively relieve joint pain,” she explains. “The natural anti-inflammatory properties of GOPO make it a viable replacement to pain killers, without the risk of harmful side effects.”

In conclusion, Dr Harper advises, “If you do want to try a joint health supplement, always consult your doctor or pharmacist first who can advise on the best treatment for your symptoms.”

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