Published on April 6, 2020
The benefits of meditation for arthritis pain
Living with rheumatoid arthritis is never easy. The good news is there’s no shortage of treatment options. While disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can help with symptoms, they aren't the only way to manage chronic pain. Read on to learn about the many benefits of mindful meditation and find out why it’s increasingly being used as a way to deal with the pain and stress of arthritis.
What is meditation?
Meditation is an approach to training the mind, much in the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. According to the arthritis foundation, mindfulness based meditation is often used to support relaxation, reduce depression, and enhance overall health and well-being.1
A 2016 randomized clinical trial with over 300 participants found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) mediation technique that focuses on increasing awareness and acceptance of physical discomfort and difficult emotions was found be an effective treatment option for patients with chronic low back pain when compared to the usual model of care2.
What are the benefits of meditation for arthritis pain?
From reducing pain intensity to reducing pain-related activity in the brain, various studies demonstrate that meditation can help people living with chronic pain. Additionally, a 2017 analysis of 38 randomized controlled trials found that mindfulness meditation improves not only pain but depression symptoms and quality of life as well3.
How to get started with mindful meditation
Getting comfortable with meditation requires time, patience and plenty of practice. The arthritis foundation recommends a few tips to keep in mind4.
Start small. A few 5- or 10-minute sessions a day is a great place to begin.
Do it daily. Aim to practice every day. If that's not realistic, try for every other day.
Quiet your mind. Whether it's deep breathing or repeating a simple mantra, practice keeping your thoughts focused on the activity at hand.
Find what works. You're more likely to stick to regular meditation if it feels comfortable to you. Explore different forms and see what works for you.
Remember, nothing can completely take away arthritis pain or symptoms, but regular meditation can help you learn to cope with them more effectively.
What about omega-3s for arthritis pain?
Meditation isn’t the only non-prescription arthritis pain management option out there. Recent studies have also found that getting an effective dosage of omega 3 for arthritis can reduce inflammation and joint pain. 5 If you decide to take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, talk to your health care provider to determine the right dose for your situation.
Available in a delicious citrus flavour, our Targeted Omega-3 NutraSea Arthritis is an excellent option.
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- org. n.d. [online] Available at: <https://arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/natural-therapies/meditation-benefits-for-people-with-arthritis> [Accessed 24 August 2021].
- Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, et al. Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care on Back Pain and Functional Limitations in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2016;315(12):1240-1249. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2323
- Hilton L, Hempel S, Ewing BA, et al. Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Behav Med. 2017;51(2):199-213. doi:10.1007/s12160-016-9844
- org. n.d. [online] Available at: <https://arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/natural-therapies/how-to-meditate-for-arthritis> [Accessed 24 August 2021].
- Rajaei E, Mowla K, Ghorbani A, Bahadoram S, Bahadoram M, Dargahi-Malamir M. The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Receiving DMARDs Therapy: Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Glob J Health Sci. 2015;8(7):18-25. Published 2015 Nov 3. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v8n7p18z