5 Facts to know about joint pain
Joints form the connections between your bones provide the body support and facilitate movement. When joints are painful everyday tasks may be difficult. If you experience painful joints it helps to know more about the source of pain and potential remedies.
- Joint pain intensity
Painful joints can range from mild discomfort that causes occasional soreness after exercise to severe pain that is chronic.
Minor painful joints can be uncomfortable and may or may not limit your activity level. However severe joint discomfort is potentially debilitating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are nearly 15 million adults suffering from severe joint pain. Such discomfort makes even limited movement especially painful. The pain is usually the most intense during weight-bearing activities.
Common areas of the body that joint pains strike include the neck back jaw knees hips shoulders wrist hands and fingers.
2. Causes of painful joints
Inflammation is the most common reason for joint pain. Inflammation is the body's immune response and can involve swelling redness and pain. This pain can affect bones ligaments tendons muscles or cartilage.
The most common type of joint pain is caused by arthritis. This condition causes pain within the joint itself because of swelling from inflammation within the joints and can become especially painful.
Other causes of painful joints include diseases broken bones cancer injury fibromyalgia gout lupus leukemia and lime disease.
3. Remedies for painful joints
A wide variety of joint discomfort remedies exist. Which you choose will depend on the type and severity of joint pain you are experiencing. Many helpful treatments to ease symptoms include applying heat or cold. You may find relief from an ice pack heating pad or hot water bottle as all of these remedies can reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter medicines designed to reduce inflammation such as ibuprofen naproxen or aspirin may also relieve joint pain.
Natural remedies to help relieve joint discomfort include fish oil which contains the unsaturated fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Flaxseed which contains omega-3 fatty acids may also help as do many products containing Glucosamine sulfate. Foods that contain these ingredients such as fatty fish seaweed and walnuts may also reduce pain caused by inflammation.
4. Pain prevention
While it's generally unlikely to prevent all joint discomfort it is possible to reduce the occurrence. Movement and exercise help prevent painful joints. The more flexible and strong your muscles the less likely they are to stiffen and weaken around the joints which will help minimize pain.
When appropriate weight loss can also help prevent painful joints. Excess weight puts undue strain on the joints which can lead to added pressure and pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation even a moderate weight loss of five to 10 pounds provides immediate and long-term health benefits.
5. When to seek medical attention
Gradual painful joints and stiffness are common as you age but sudden pain is a cause for concern. If you experience pain that seems to come on overnight consult with your doctor as soon as possible. The same is true if you have unrelenting pain that is not relieved by common remedies. Other reasons to consult your physician include the inability to move a joint swelling redness and joint deformity.
Read more: Is the weather to blame for your joint pain?
If you're struggling with any of these conditions or if you feel that your joint discomfort has become unmanageable it's time to speak to a doctor or pain management specialist. The experts at Reid Orthopedic Center are available to help you manage joint pain so you can live a more active fulfilling life.