Many people only see stress as a psychological problem, but unfortunately, it can influence more than just our minds. Physical symptoms of stress may include low energy levels, headaches, aches and pains and frequent colds and infections (WebMD, 2017). With seven out of ten adults in the United States alone saying they experience stress daily (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), we should be working together to find ways to better cope with, and prevent stress.
How does stress impact joint health?
Everyone experiences stress from time to time, due to everyday responsibilities including, work, family and major life events. However, if your stress levels stay elevated for longer periods of time, it can cause your muscles to tense up. When your muscles don’t get a chance to relax, it creates tightness which can cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and other body aches (Healthline, 2017)
Research shows that inflammation is regulated by the stress hormone cortisol, but prolonged stress can damage cortisol’s effectiveness and cause inflammation to get out of control (Science Daily, 2012). If you suffer from joint pain, reducing your stress levels may help to make your life a little easier.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques have been found to help improve psychological strength for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (Arthritis Care and Research, 2007). Mindfulness meditation reduces pain by engaging mechanisms supporting the cognitive control of pain (NCBI, 2016).
How can you regulate the physical impacts of stress?
The best way to tackle stress-related joint pain is to tackle the problem at the root – discover what is causing the stress. Once you have this figured out, you can start your journey to recovery.
Exercise can be incredibly beneficial to your health and a great way to reduce stress, even if it is the last thing you want to do after a long, taxing day at the office, it will make you feel better in the long run. Physical activities produce endorphins, known as the feel-good hormone, and can act as a natural painkiller (Mayo Clinic, 2015).
Swimming is one of the physical activities that have fewer contraindications. It is perfect to help soothe aching joints as activity in the water doesn’t put as much pressure on the joints (NCBI, 2015).
Regular brisk walking strengthens your bones and muscles, improves your mood and can help maintain a healthy weight. The faster, farther and more frequently you can walk, the greater the benefits (Mayo Clinic, 2016).
Supplements such as the Move Free® Ultra Triple Action tablets with type II collagen, boron and hyaluronic acid can help to improve your joint health. Collagen II makes up about 60% of the dry weight of cartilage. Over time, compressive stiffness increases, and the cartilage loses its ability to undergo reversible deformation and starts to degenerate (NCBI, 2009). Taking joint supplements like these daily can help preserve and maintain the vital cartilage in your joints. Hyaluronic acid is found in the healthy joint fluid to ease movement and boron helps to support healthy bones by extending the half-life of vitamin D (Healthline, 2017). The Move Free Ultra Triple Action supplements provide joint, cartilage and bone health*.
Unlike the leading brand of Glucosamine Chondroitin where you need to take two large tablets per day, with Move Free you only need to take one small tablet per day to help support your joints, keep your bones healthy and preserve cartilage*.
Your diet can also impact on stress levels, as well as having a direct effect on your joint health. Everyone knows that calcium is important for bones and joints, but many don’t realize that vitamin D is needed to help absorb all the calcium you eat (Drexel, 2013). Vitamin D can be found in fresh shrimp, cereals, orange juice, sardines, eggs, tuna and more. Ten to fifteen minutes in the sun a few days a week will also help you get that essential vitamin D requirement.
Vitamin D is important because it helps the body use the calcium in your diet. Some risk factors you can control to help your skeletal strength include, stopping smoking, limiting your alcohol intake and ensuring you partake in a regular physical activity (NIH, 2014). Make sure you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals every day and combine this with regular exercise to keep stress levels down and ensure your joints are in good condition.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (unknown) Physical activity reduces stress
Arthritis Care and Research (2007) Effect of Mindfulness-Based stress reduction in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Drexel (2013) Ask a Drexel Physician: Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Bones
Healthline (2017) Brains, Bones, and Boron
Healthline (2017) The effects of stress on your body
Mayo Clinic (2015) Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress
Mayo Clinic (2016) Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health
NCBI (2009) The basic science of articular cartilage
Science Daily (2012) How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit
Web MD (2017) Stress Symptoms
**THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE