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Struggling With Joint Pain? This Could Be One Sneaky Reason Why

How stress impacts joint pain.

When we look at the body as one complete system, it makes sense that stress could wind up influencing joint pain. After all, we know that elevated cortisol levels are associated with more pain. As physician and New York Times bestselling author Lissa Rankin, M.D., previously wrote for mbg, chronic stress depletes your adrenal glands. This “raises prolactin levels, increasing the body’s sensitivity to pain1, such as backaches and muscle aches,” she notes.

Additionally, founder of Parsley Health Robin Berzin, M.D., previously wrote for mbg that stress is the opposite of helpful for your immune system, which is responsible for regulating a healthy inflammatory response in the body. “Stress is the ultimate immune-modulator,” she writes, and inflammation is often what we’re feeling when our joints start to ache.

And speaking of inflammation, we already know that stress has a negative impact on gut health. You guessed it–poor gut health is also associated with increased inflammation and more joint pain.

In short: Stress can lead to inflammation, poor gut health, chronically elevated cortisol, and more, which will all impact joint pain.

What to do about it.

If you’ve been achey lately and you think stress could be to blame, the good news is there are a handful of things you can do to give your joints a break.

For one thing, taking a quality joint comfort supplement can help promote joint health and encourage a healthy inflammatory response in the body, ultimately providing sustained relief. Here are nine of our most effective picks.

You also want to make sure you’re getting enough movement, for a few reasons. Not only is strength training known to improve the function of joints2, for instance, but the exercise itself is also a powerful way to combat stress. To that end, perhaps you opt for a soothing yoga flow or even dancing to shake that stress away.

Anything else you can do to help mitigate stress is a good thing. Whether it’s picking up meditating, clearing your schedule so you have more time to decompress or journaling about your worries, anything that helps you feel more at ease will translate into greater overall well-being–joints included.


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The takeaway.

No one wants to be stressed, and our bodies seem acutely aware of this fact. When you are stressed, it can throw you out of whack and impact your joint health. But knowing this, when you’re able to nip stress in the bud, your joints can feel that much better.


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