Physical activity helps improve physical and mental health. Exercise plays a vital role in the management of chonic pain. Regular physical activity can keep the muscles Exercise helps:
Reduce stiffness and pain
Increase energy and stamina
Improve sleep quality
Promote weight loss and long-term weight management
There are many centres and organizations that have exercise programs, specifically for arthritis.
BC Consumer Health Resources for more information.
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Physical Activity and Pain.
Improving your sleep quality helps restore your energy levels and rest your muscles . Sleep also helps reduce stress, which can aggravate chronic pain. Some tips to help your sleep habits:
Do moderate exercise on a regular basis
Don't exercise right before bedtime
Don't drink alcohol and caffeine, especially late in the day.
Do establish a regular sleep schedule, especially for your wake up
Do practice mindfulness
Do practice guided imagery
Do speak with your doctor
tips, tools and resources about sleep and pain.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Using heat and cold treatments can reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis. Cold packs numb the sore area and reduce inflammation and swelling. They are especially good for joint pain caused by a flare. Heat relaxes your muscles and stimulates blood circulation. You can use dry heat, such as heating pads or heat lamps, or moist heat, such as warm baths or heated wash cloths.
What do you do to self-manage your pain? Do you have a technique that works particularly well?
If so, let us know!
An important aspect of managing chronic pain is staying connected with your family and friends as well as connecting with others who share similar experiences with chronic pain.
For services and support groups in British Columbia, check out our BC Consumer Resource Guide