In this article, we’ll be talking all about joints – what joints are and the health of your joints. Joints act as the connectors between bones to allow for movement. The four most common joints are the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Joint pain is common, but it could be an indicator of a more serious problem. In order to look into how to soothe joint pain, we first need to learn about the different factors that cause joint pain as well as what that means for your joint health long term.
Causes of Joint Pain
There are many different causes of joint pain. As we age, our joints get weaker and can begin to ache. Over time, the tissues around our joints can damage due to wear and tear. Joint pain can even be caused by more serious, chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Other conditions include gout and bursitis. While not long term, sprains, strains and other injuries can cause joint pain.
Arthritis is the leading cause of joint pain. OA is the most common form of arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease and occurs when the cartilage around the end of the bones in the joint wear down over time. RA, on the other hand, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. People who suffer from RA experience chronic joint pain because of inflammation in the joints due to an immune disorder where your immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake.
Treating Joint Pain
Experiencing constant joint pain could be a sign of a more serious chronic disease. While experiencing the occasion joint pain can be common and normal, be sure to watch out for unusual inflammation or higher or more frequent levels of pain. Other symptoms of joint pain include redness and swelling, tenderness to touch and abnormal heat at the source of the pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor for further evaluation.
Once diagnosed, or for every day treatment, there are topical pain relievers to apply directly on the source of the pain as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers to help with joint pain. These treatments can be found over-the-counter, however, if you suffer from chronic joint pain, you may need a treatment provided by your doctor.
Just like there are ways to treat joint pain, there are also ways to help prevent joint pain. Staying physically active and stretching often can help keep your joints in good shape. It’s also important to manage your weight and keep your body at a healthy weight limit to reduce stress and strain on your joints.
Joint pain is common, especially as we get older. Practice good joint health by staying active, but be mindful of the signs and symptoms. Just like with any other health condition, the earlier the diagnosis, the better! Treatment for chronic joint pain is available.Talk with your doctor about your moderate or severe joint pain and get back on your way to living a healthy, more manageable lifestyle.