Avoiding Joint Pain: A Guide On What You Can Do On A Day-To-Day Basis To Avoid Joint Pain

Avoiding Joint Pain: A Guide On What You Can Do On A Day-To-Day Basis To Avoid Joint PainJoint pain, also known as arthralgia, is a discomfort that arises from any joint. A joint can be painful without being inflamed, or it can be both inflamed and painful.

Your joints connect bones, support your weight and allow you to move and though they are designed to cope with incredible amounts of stress, sometimes they suffer from wear and tear, and the resulting joint pain can be extremely uncomfortable.

Importance of Keeping Joints Healthy

When your joints are healthy, you can make movements such as bending, walking, or lifting easily and without pain or discomfort. Joint problems can occur at any age. But aging makes your bones more prone to natural wear and tear. Age-related musculoskeletal changes also play a part, which leads to various joint disorders or injuries such as sprains or strains and arthritis. Maintaining healthy joints can help prevent these conditions later in life that can affect mobility, overall well-being, and quality of life.

One of the best ways to ensure your joints are in good condition is to keep your muscles, ligaments, and bones strong and stable. Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial for the health of your joints. This is because obesity or being overweight increases the risk of joint-related problems such as arthritis. This is because joints have a harder time carrying and supporting the extra weight. According to studies, for every extra pound gained, the extra weight puts four times more stress on the knees. However, when you lose weight, the pressure on your joints is significantly reduced, putting you at a lesser risk of joint damage.

Types of Joint Pains

Common types of joint pain include:

  • Knee pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Hip pain
  • Foot pain
  • Hand pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Neck pain

Joint pain may affect just one or many different joints, such as knees and hips.

How to Keep Your Joints Healthy and Pain-Free

Healthy joints are key in maintaining mobility as you age and preventing injury or avoiding health conditions such as arthritis or gout. Here is what you can do to keep your joints healthy and avoid injury.

Get Up and Move

Regular exercises help reduce joint stiffness, pain, and inflammation, protect against cartilage damage and keep your bones strong. It is also essential to avoid staying in one position for too long and move around as often as possible during the day.

Exercise can help decrease joint pain by strengthening muscles that support joints and trigger endorphins to help relieve pain. The type of exercise you can do depends on your overall health, fitness level, and accessibility to the gym. Low-impact exercises you can try include swimming, cycling, walking, stretching, strength training, or Tai chi. Always warm up and cool down joints before and after exercising respectfully.

Maintain A Good Posture

Proper posture reduces added stress on your joints, reducing injury to the surrounding muscles. Maintain proper posture when standing, sitting, and take extra caution when carrying or lifting heavy objects to avoid injuries or joint damage.

Stay Hydrated

Ensure you take enough water throughout the day because it helps make synovial fluid in your joints, protecting your bones from wear and tear. Water helps lubricate the joints by increasing synovial fluid volume, allowing it to spread evenly around them. Take the right amount of water based on your lifestyle and body. Generally, let your thirst set the pace.

Eat Healthy Foods

A healthy diet is an essential component of healthy joints. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammation in your joints and body. Such foods include:

  • Vitamin D from dairy products, fortified foods, and supplements
  • Fish, such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel, contain
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • Curcumin (an active ingredient in turmeric)
  • Leafy green vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and spinach
  • Berries, including blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries
  • Nuts and seeds, like chia seeds, almonds, and walnuts

Quit Smoking

Smoking is harmful to your joints and bones. It increases your risk of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. According to research, arthritic patients who smoke have more cartilage pain and loss than those who don’t smoke. Try and stop smoking to improve your overall health. You can ask for help from your doctor if you can do it on your own.

Causes Of Joint Pain

Joint pain may affect just one joint, or it may affect many different joints. Common causes include and are not limited to:

Posture
Posture is critical to the alignment of the joints in the body from your spine to your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. Poor posture, such as forward head posture from prolonged sitting, protrudes the shoulders forward and weakens the back muscles, leading to shoulder impingement and rotator cuff injuries.

Sprains or Strain
These occur due to movements that go beyond the normal joint range. This causes tearing of the tissues that give joints stability, such as tendons and ligaments. The most common sprains are in the knee, shoulders, wrists, and fingers. Most of these sprains occur from muscle weakness or forceful sports.

Joint, Bone, or Soft Tissue Injuries
Injury to the joint such as joint dislocation, bone fracture, or surrounding muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

Osteoarthritis (OA)
This is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs due to wear and tear on the joint cartilage surfaces. When joints don’t move smoothly and correctly, abnormal pressure is applied on the surface of the joints, causing a buildup of inflammation and debris, resulting in pain. Arthritic joints generally lose motion, and the surrounding muscles become weaker. At first, it may be noticeable in just one joint, such as the hip or knee, but it gradually affects several joints like the hands, and the many joints in the spine are often affected.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
This condition causes persistent inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints. Pain and stiffness are felt in both sides of your body that worsens after an activity, like when you wake up.

Gout
This condition causes attacks of painful inflammation in one or more joints. It first occurs in just one joint, mostly in the big toe but may spread to other joints.

Joint and Bone Infections
Infection of the bone (septic arthritis) or infection of the surrounding bone (osteomyelitis) leads to joint pains. The symptoms are hot, swollen joints, high temperature, and a shivery feeling.

General Body Infection
Body infections, such as flu-like illness with high temperature (fever), may lead to pain all over the joints.

Menopause
Women going through menopause commonly experience joint and muscle pains.

How to Ease Joint Pain

There are some things you can do to ease joint pain, which include:

  • Try to rest the affected joint if you can
  • Put an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) wrapped in the painful area for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours
  • Take painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, but avoid ibuprofen in the first 48 hours after an injury
  • Try to lose weight if you are overweight
  • Move the affected joint
  • Avoid carrying heavy things
  • Warm up aching joints by applying heat to ease discomfort and improve blood circulation

For more information on how we can help with joint pain, contact Advanced Care Specialists today or schedule an appointment online.

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