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Loosen the grip of arthritis pain

A seated man rests his hands and chin on top of a cane

A positive attitude goes a long way in controlling arthritis pain.

It's hard to keep your spirits up when you're hurting. But when it comes to living with arthritis pain, keeping a positive outlook is half the battle, says the Arthritis Foundation.

The foundation suggests that you think of arthritis pain as a message from your body to take action, rather than an ordeal to be endured. Finding new options for coping with the pain will help you feel more in control.

Different types of arthritis can result in different symptoms, so it's important to see your doctor to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs. Here are some suggestions from the foundation to help build a positive mental attitude:

  • Get a hobby. Getting involved in an activity, finding a new interest or helping others in need can keep you active and reduce stress.
  • Don't dwell on your pain. Arthritis is limiting, but it does not need to control your life. Instead of focusing on your discomfort, think positive thoughts, get exercise, eat properly and reduce stress.
  • Practice positive self-talk. What we tell ourselves influences our actions and beliefs. For example, instead of telling yourself, "I'm so tired. I don't want to take my walk," try approaching the situation a different way and say, "As tired as I feel, I know a walk will renew my energy and help me relax." Changing negative statements into positive statements is a challenge, but it can make a big difference.
  • Join a support group. Sharing your feelings with others can help you to feel supported and understood. Not only can you get new ideas on how to cope with arthritis, but you may also be able to help others with their problems. Remember that you are not alone.
  • Seek new information. Staying abreast of new techniques and strategies for coping with arthritis can help you control joint pain. Visit the Arthritis Foundation website,, for more information on living with arthritis.

Reviewed 3/1/2024

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