Go Outside

Go Outside

Don't stay cooped up indoors focusing on your pain. Get outside! The combination of fresh air, scenic views, and exercise will improve your mood and lessen your pain. 

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, back pain, deep pain, head pain, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, menstrual cramps, migraine, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., all over pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, rib pain, shoulder blade pain, spine pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, sharp pain, shooting pain, stabbing pain, tender points, throbbing pain, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Mood

Duration

14

Play With Kids

Pain doesn't have to keep you from the people you love most -- your kids and grandkids. In fact, keeping up with the little ones is a perfect way to stay active. Find activities you both love -- like playing hide and seek, swimming, or planting a vegetable garden.

Prompt: Kid around.

CTA: Ease your pain -- and have some fun.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, back pain, deep pain, head pain, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, menstrual cramps, migraine, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain, pain at night, pain worse in A.M., all over pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, rib pain, shoulder blade pain, spine pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, pounding pain, pulsing pain, sharp pain, shooting pain, stabbing pain, tender points, throbbing pain, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint

Triggers: inactivity, not exercising, overdoing it, sitting too long, anxiety, fatigue, sadness

Treatments: aerobic exercise, exercise, muscle strengthening, range-of-motion exercises, walking, swimming, dance, relaxation, stress reduction, biking

Categories: Mood

Walk the Dog

Walking is great exercise. Add a well-trained canine companion, and you'll also boost your mood. Hanging out with your pet increases serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that help you relax and feel calm. If you are not used to walking, start slowly with short 5 minute walks a couple times a week. Add another day every 4 weeks if you can. Then start to walk a little further or faster. Drop back if your joints begin to hurt after a walk.

Prompt: Grab a leash.

CTA: Take a walk with your furry friend.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, pain worse in A.M., all over pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, thigh pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, tender points, throbbing pain, anxiety, depression, weight gain, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint, back pain, headache, jaw pain, hand pain, spine pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, tender points, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, fibro fog, unrefreshing sleep, difficulty sleeping

Triggers: inactivity, not exercising, sitting too long, stress, sleeping too much, anxiety, fatigue, sadness

Treatments: walking, aerobic exercise, exercise, stress reduction

Categories: Mood

Gardening

Nature is a great healer. Studies show that just being out in nature can help reduce stress. Add some digging, hoeing, weeding, and planting, and you'll also get a great overall workout. To make working in the garden more comfortable, use kneepads and tools with ergonomic handles.

Prompt: Dig in the dirt.

CTA: Garden for your body and mind.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, pain worse in A.M., all over pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, thigh pain, tender points, throbbing pain, anxiety, depression, weight gain, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint, back pain, headache, jaw pain, hand pain, spine pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, tender points, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, fibro fog, unrefreshing sleep, difficulty sleeping

Triggers: inactivity, not exercising, sitting too long, stress, sleeping too much, anxiety, fatigue, sadness

Treatments: gardening, occupational therapy, stress reduction, relaxation

Categories: Mood

Get a Hobby

Finding an activity that stimulates your brain can help keep your mind off your pain -- learn French, take a painting class, or join a knitting group. Or try a more active hobby -- like salsa dancing or golf -- to get your body moving, too. Invite a friend and you'll have even more fun.

Prompt: Try something new.

CTA: Start a new activity.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, pain, tender points, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, anxiety, depression, weight gain, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint, back pain, headache, jaw pain, hand pain, spine pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, tender points, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, fibro fog, unrefreshing sleep, difficulty sleeping

Triggers: inactivity, not exercising, sitting too long, stress, sleeping too much, anxiety, fatigue, sadness

Treatments: aerobic exercise, dance, stress reduction

Categories: Mood

Geocaching

Here's a new activity for you to try: Geocaching. It's like a treasure hunt, but kicked up a notch. Using GPS navigation, you can explore parks, hike trails, or walk city streets searching for hidden objects called "caches." Caches are hidden all over the world. It's so much fun you won't even realize you're getting a workout. Look for more information about geocaching on the Internet at geocaching.com.

Prompt: GPS and go.

CTA: Try a high-tech treasure hunt.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, joint pain, joint tenderness, pain, stiffness, depression, tender points, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, anxiety, weight gain, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint, back pain, headache, jaw pain, hand pain, spine pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, tender points, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, fibro fog, unrefreshing sleep, difficulty sleeping

Triggers: inactivity, not exercising, sitting too long, stress, sleeping too much, anxiety, fatigue, sadness

Treatments: aerobic exercise, walking, stress reduction, relaxation

Categories: Mood

Nature Walk

Flex your mind as well as your legs by studying nature while you walk. There's a whole natural world to explore somewhere nearby. Pick up a nature guide and hit the trail in search of birds, butterflies, wildflowers, or mushrooms.

Prompt: Explore nature.

CTA: Grab your binoculars.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, joint pain, joint tenderness, pain, stiffness, depression, tender points, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, anxiety, weight gain, pinched nerve, stiff joint, swollen joint, back pain, headache, jaw pain, hand pain, spine pain, painful periods, pelvic pain, tender points, morning stiffness, reduced joint movement, fibro fog, unrefreshing sleep, difficulty sleeping

Triggers: inactivity, not exercising, sitting too long, stress, sleeping too much, anxiety, fatigue, sadness

Treatments: aerobic exercise, walking, stress reduction, relaxation

Categories: Mood

Weather Check

Getting outside is a great way to take your mind off your pain, but a shift in temperature or humidity can make some types of pain worse. If your local weather report is calling for conditions that could trigger your pain you might want to save your outside adventure for another day.

Prompt: Watch the weather.

CTA: Know when to stay indoors.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: aching, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, migraines, muscle pain, pain, all over pain, tenderness, throbbing pain, morning stiffness, stiffness, extreme sensitivity, feeling hot, feeling cold, light sensitivity, nerve pain, pain worse in the AM, hand pain, head pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, tender points, stiff joint, swollen joint, neck stiffness, leg numbness

Triggers: barometric pressure changes, cold weather, damp weather, heat, humidity, pressure changes, rain, snow, temperature changes, weather changes, wet weather, wind

Treatments: aerobic exercise, walking

Categories: Mood

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler, MD on January 22, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Arthritis."

American Cancer Society: "Man’s Best Friend."

Arthritis Foundation: "Weather and Pain."

Arthritis Today: "Starting a Walking Program;" Wii Fitness: Making Home Exercise Equipment Fun;" "Handy Garden Tools;" "Dog Walking May Lead to Big Health Benefits;" and "Six Reasons to Walk."

Brown County, University of Wisconsin Extension: "Gardening and Arthritis" and "Easier Gardening."

Carragee, E. Spine, May 15, 2004.

FamilyDoctor.org: "Arthritis."

Geocaching: "What is Geocaching?"

Masi, W. The Parent's Guide to Play. Firefly Books, 2005.

Moldovan, A. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, March 2009.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Low Back Pain Fact Sheet."

National Pain Foundation: "Pain and Your Mental Health."

Williams, K. Spine, September 2009.

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