Five Tips for Coping With Lupus Joint Pain


Try Fish and Evening Primrose Oils

Fish oil’s omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation in lupus patients (according to a study done in Northern Ireland in 2004) and can keep heart disease at bay. It is also known to benefit pregnant women and sufferers of certain skin diseases such as psoriasis.

The beneficial omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in:

  • Salmon
  • Spanish mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Halibut
  • Tuna
  • Cod

However, it is recommended that fish not be consumed daily due to mercury and other toxins. Non-fish foods with these fatty acids include:

  • Butter
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans
  • Walnuts

Apply Hot or Cold Packs

When my joints are feeling particularly achy, I often apply cold packs to my joints. Some people prefer heat on their joints, but for me, ice packs do the trick. This can mean a bag of frozen peas or an actual ice pack that I have purchased at the store.

I like to let them sit on the sore joints for about half an hour or so while I continue on with my work — my knees are the most affected and as a writer, I can truck on with ice packs balanced on top of them.

I also find eating cold food helps me, though I’m not sure why. There is no scientific evidence for this, but when I’m feeling particularly sore, popsicles and ice cream are my food of choice.

However, be careful not to overindulge. Don’t reach for an ice cream sundae every time your joints ache. Instead, opt for low-calorie popsicles or suck on some ice to ease your pain.

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Have a Gentle Exercise Routine

Lastly, one great way to keep your joint pain at bay is exercise. But this tip gets tricky; I do not recommend exercise if your joints are actively hurting.

This can lead to further pain and possibly even injury. Instead, wait until your joints are either feeling perfectly normal or close to it, and start an exercise regime. You’ll want to stick to it as often as you can (although exercising with lupus can be a bit difficult).

Talk to your doctor about exercises that work best for the type of pain that you have. For example, my knees are my most affected joints and therefore running is out of the question. But it is important to keep the muscles around your joints strong, so I do lots of walking as well as going on the elliptical machine.

Riding a bike is also a good way to keep my knees strong without going overboard. Again, listening to your body is key — overdoing it when your body is already in pain makes matters a whole lot worse, and it is best to rest when you’re feeling that nagging inflammation.

The Bottom Line…

Joint pain is one of the hallmark symptoms of lupus, and can be quite annoying and sometimes debilitating. However, it is very important to do everything in your power to keep it in check. Hopefully, these five lupus joint pain management strategies help keep your lupus and joint pain at a minimum!

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