What Is Joint Pain?
Our bodies consist of muscles and bones and many other things. Our joints are what connect one bone to the next. Joints are what help us move – and when we damage our joints, or they become diseased, some of us know only too well the kind of pain it causes. For some, it’s so crippling that it calls for joint pain treatment.
Many types of medical conditions lead to aching joints. One is osteoarthritis; another is rheumatoid arthritis. Other ones are gout, bursitis, sprains, strains, etc. Joint pain is not a rare condition among people; it is very common.
One of the most common joint complaints is knee pain, then shoulder and hip pain. It can affect any part of your body, even your feet, ankles, and hands. Some days the pain seems mild, and on other days, it can be pretty debilitating. Sometimes it comes and stays for a couple of weeks. For others, it can carry on from weeks to months – that’s when it’s called chronic pain.
It’s comforting for those who suffer from debilitating pain to know that there are medications, therapies, and joint pain treatment that can help.
Factors That Lead To Joint Pain
You might get surprised to realize just what causes joint pain. What you do each day can make a difference in the future on how your joints will function and feel:
- Repetitive habits: Like working on a computer a lot or texting non-stop, dicing food, etc., it’s repeating the same motion over and over again. This can tax the larger joints and even the smaller members, like your thumbs.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Everyone needs to move and move and move; don’t sit still for too long because when you do, you actually can make your muscles tired, straining your cartilage and joints, and preventing proper blood flow.
- Carrying heavy things over time: It can either alter your posture or strain the muscles in your neck, pressing down on your shoulder joints and this causes joint pain.
- Ignoring your joints: If your joints have been sore for about a week, don’t just leave them. Your body is talking to you. It might be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
- Over exercising: Exercise can promote proper blood circulation, and encourage better lung function. However, strenuous exercise that is done routinely may impact your health negatively. Soreness and sharp pain that lasts for a few hours is probably a sign you are overdoing it.
- Insufficient vitamin D and calcium: Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. Not getting enough of these may lead to worn cartilage and bone damage and fractures.
- Not getting enough sleep: Insufficient sleep weakens your body, especially your major organs, to rejuvenate and function properly the next day.
- Gaining extra weight: The heavier you are, the more pressure you put on your joints. This causes joint pain, particularly in the knees, hips, and spine.
- Smoking: Nicotine constricts blood vessels that supply blood to your joints. Those who smoke are at higher risk for joint and spine problems, which can occur as early as your 30s.
Treating Joint Pain With Natural Remedies
- Manage your weight: That means watching what you eat because extra weight puts extra pressure on your joints.
- Start exercising: Exercising at least 15 or 30 minutes a day keeps your joints flexible.
- Use hot and cold therapies: They relieve pain and inflammation. Try acupuncture. It’s a fantastic joint pain treatment. It’s when practitioners insert small thin needles into your skin at the different points of the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that acupuncture works by balancing your energy in the body, stimulating the nerves, tissues, and muscles. The American College of Rheumatology, a group for doctors who specialize in arthritis, approves acupuncture for the treatment of joint pain.
- Meditation: Meditation techniques take away stress, and stress promotes inflammation and pain in the body.
- Follow a healthy diet: Diet does play a huge role in making a difference in joint pain problems. Let’s put it this way; when you consume carbs, processed foods, sweets, sodas, and bad oils, you’re causing your body to get inflamed. There is research that proves how eating foods with plenty of antioxidants can help with inflammation. These include foods like fruit, veggies, nuts, red wine, dark chocolate, and omega-3 rich foods. A plant-based diet offers antioxidants to the body, which is superb for reducing inflammation because free radicals in the body get eliminated.
- Turmeric: Research suggests it can reduce inflammation and joint pain. It can certainly spice up your life!
- Supplements go a long way: Some are devil’s claw, ginkgo, glucosamine, chondroitin, and others. Talk to your doctor before trying this joint pain treatment because some supplements can cause side effects if mixed with other drugs.
Managing Joint Pain with Medical Treatment
- Over-the-counter Drugs: Some medical treatments are over the counter (OTC) drugs and others you will need a prescription for. OTC medications will be in the form of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Some names are Advil, Ibuprofen, Myprodol, Aleve, Voltaren, and more.
- Injections: Injections offer pain relief and reduce inflammation. You get different types of injections, such as hyaluronic acid injections and steroid joint injections.
- Topical Analgesics: These numb the joint area so you don’t feel so much pain. Look out for creams or gels, and you also get patches that contain ingredients such as menthol, capsaicin, salicylate, and lidocaine.
- Surgery: Your doctor might suggest surgery, particularly if you suffer from hip or knee osteoarthritis, which hasn’t worked with other measures. If your symptoms have been severe in the past, your doctor might say you need a total joint replacement like an osteotomy. Here, the bones are cut and reshaped to ease pressure on your aching joints.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, is another excellent way of treating joint pain and improving range of motion. This therapy also strengthens the muscles that surround the joint, minimizing stiffness and pain.
Frequently Asked Questions On Joint Pain Treatment
Keep moving, maintain a healthy weight, strengthen the muscles that support your knee, wear the right shoes, try and perfect your posture, and listen to your knees when they groan with pain to maintain the health of your joints. There are also natural ways for joint pain treatment.
Yes, the bottom line is to stay away from refined grains and sugar. We all love pasta but keep away from it, as well as white rice and white bread. These are the worst culprits when it comes to joint discomfort.
- Fried and processed food, including corn oil.
- AGEs (Advanced Glycation end-products).
- Refined carbs and sugar.
- Preservatives and salt.
Most people encounter joint pain in their lives at some time. But what is uncommon is when the pain affects your daily activities, as well as your quality of life. It might be necessary for you to see an orthopedic surgeon to get to the source of your pain.
Sometimes the pain isn’t intense, so the discomfort will come and go. Fleeting pain might mean you are overdoing it at the gym or working longer than usual in the garden. It could mean you are older, like around 60, when people could start developing arthritis, which causes joint pain. An orthopedic surgeon will pinpoint what your joint problems are, suggesting tips, lifestyle changes, and medications to help.
Yes, there is indeed no permanent cure for arthritic joint pain, but it does not mean that you can’t take steps to manage it. You can! British researchers have concluded that just 1 gram a day of DHA omega-3 can go a long way with easing joint pain.
Their study which is published in Rheumatology also concludes that elevated LDL cholesterol levels and joint pain are associated. They discovered that a healthy diet along with a medication like statin, which reduces cholesterol, eases joint inflammation by as much as 50%. The added strain on the joints causes joint pain from inflammation that is normally associated with obesity – this can trigger a whole cascade of eroded cartilage.
What do you need to do? Slash consuming saturated fats from meat and dairy, increase your intake of DHA-rich foods like salmon and trout, and up your vitamin K, D, and calcium intake. And without question, cut out all the ultra-processed foods and sugars. Try the Mediterranean style approach to eating and before long, you might feel like a new person, just back from a holiday in the Mediterranean – isn’t that worth it?