There are many reasons why people who have anxiety feel increased joint pain. While there are many types of anxiety disorders, most of them share a common symptom of excessive fear and as a result cause behavioral and functional disturbances. What you may not know is that joint pain is a complex symptom of anxiety.
Keep reading for 5 things you can do to help reduce both!
Anxiety & Joint Pain
Stress inflammation is one of the most common issues inside the body. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are molecules that can be released by many things, one being stress. When you have anxiety you experience long-term stress, and as a result your body continually produces these cytokine molecules. Inflammation caused by these molecules cause your joints to swell and ultimately leads to more pain in your movements.
5 ways you can reduce anxiety-related joint pain:
- Nutrition: Not only is a healthy diet essential in maintaining a healthy weight, certain foods can help to decrease pain and inflammation. Speak with your Dr about magnesium rich foods and supplements. It has been studied to relieve symptoms of joint pain and anxiety. Comparatively, studies show that 50% of the US population is deficient in this mineral. Also, vitamin D cannot be metabolized without sufficient levels of magnesium.
Here are some examples of magnesium-rich foods:
- beans & soybeans
- brown rice
- cashews (raw organic is best)
- egg yolk (look for local farm raised)
- fish oil
- green vegetables
- seeds; pumpkin, sesame & sunflower
- #StayActive: Exercise plays an important role in both mental and physical health. Incorporate walking, yoga, or strength training into your daily routine. **Always check with your doctor before starting a new routine to make sure it’s a good fit for your needs.
- Limit Alcohol & Caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine can intensify anxiety and joint pain. Swap out mixed drinks for seltzer water with a splash of juice. Swap out coffee for green tea, or another option is trying out an herbal coffee in place of your regular cup of Joe.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Learn to redirect negative thoughts and look at the bright side of things. It’s not always easy, but your body will thank you. A simple way to start is by keeping a journal and making a routine of writing down the positives at the end of each day.
- Ask For Help: You’re not alone. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be working, ask for help! Don’t put it off.
If your joint pain persists, it may be time to meet with an orthopedic surgeon. Find one near you with our Find a Doctor tool.