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Osteoarthritis: Coping with Pain

There are many ways to control your pain. You’re making a good start by learning about osteoarthritis and its treatments. Knowing more about this condition helps you work with your doctor to find answers to problems. Keeping a positive outlook can help you manage pain from day to day. And making time each day to relax and enjoy yourself may help you control osteoarthritis pain, instead of letting it control you. Try these methods to help you cope with, and even reduce, your pain.

Take Control

Relaxing may help relieve muscle aches that result from joint pain. To relax, try these techniques:

  • Breathe slowly and calmly and think of a peaceful scene.

  • Meditate by focusing your mind on one word, object, or idea.

Getting plenty of sleep can help reduce pain and let you function better. If pain is making it hard for you to sleep, ask your doctor about ways to control pain and ensure a good night’s sleep. Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol can help you sleep better. So can going to bed and getting up at about the same time every day.

Distract Yourself

Getting your mind off the pain may seem hard to do. But it can actually help reduce pain. When you are in pain, try one of these ways of distracting yourself:Smiling woman with eyes closed wearing headphones.

  • Watch a funny movie with a friend.

  • Listen to music you enjoy.

  • Read a novel.

  • Talk with friends or family.

  • Go to a museum, park, or other favorite attraction.

  • Arrange to do a regular activity, such as volunteer work.

Online Medical Reviewer: Barrus, Bryan, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marian, Valentin, MD
Last Review Date: 2/9/2012
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.