WATCH: Tips on how to deal with chronic joint pain

The constant discomfort imposed by joint pain can lead to feelings of frustration and helplessness.

The constant discomfort imposed by joint pain can lead to feelings of frustration and helplessness.

Published Apr 3, 2024


Persistent joint pain can be a debilitating condition, significantly impacting daily life.

The constant ache or stiffness not only affects physical movement but can also take a toll on mental well-being.

However, with the right approach, managing joint pain is achievable, allowing you to regain control and improve your quality of life.

Watch the video below to find out more:

Dr. Dawn Harper, a NHS doctor from the U.K. with over 30 years of experience and author of the book "Live Well to 101," offers valuable insights and practical tips for those struggling with persistent joint pain.

Prioritising mental wellbeing

Dr. Harper emphasises the crucial connection between joint pain and mental health.

She highlights a startling statistic: nearly three-quarters (73%) of people with joint pain experience anxiety or depression.

The constant discomfort and limitations imposed by joint pain can understandably lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, and isolation. These negative emotions can further exacerbate pain perception, creating a vicious cycle.


Meditation and breathing exercises are excellent starting points. These practices can help manage stress, improve sleep quality, and promote emotional regulation, all contributing to a more positive outlook and better pain tolerance.

Gentle exercise

For those seeking a more active approaches gentle yoga or nature walks. These activities encourage gentle movement and mindfulness, promoting relaxation without putting undue stress on the joints.

Spending time outside offers an additional benefit – exposure to sunlight can boost vitamin D levels, which play a vital role in bone and joint health.

A multi-pronged approach to pain management

While addressing mental well-being is crucial, Dr. Harper acknowledges the need for a comprehensive approach.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Maintain a healthy weight

Excess weight puts additional strain on joints, particularly the knees and hips. Losing even a few kilograms can significantly reduce pain and improve mobility.

  • Stay active

Exercise strengthens muscles that support your joints. Low-impact activities like swimming, water aerobics, or cycling are excellent options. Regular physical activity also stimulates the production of endorphins, natural painkillers produced by the body.

  • Heat and Ice Therapy

Applying heat to stiff joints can improve flexibility, while ice packs can help reduce inflammation and swelling.

  • Dietary adjustments

Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help manage pain. It's also important to limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to inflammation.

  • Over-the-counter medication

Painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen can provide temporary relief from pain. Be sure to consult your doctor about dosage and potential side effects.

  • Exploring complementary therapies

Therapies like acupuncture or massage can offer pain relief and promote relaxation.

Remember, you're not alone

Living with persistent joint pain can be challenging, but with guidance and a commitment to managing your condition holistically, you can regain control and live a fulfilling life.

IOL Lifestyle