Our joints help to form the connection between bones and provide us with support to move around and go about our daily work. Damage to these joints or excess stress can cause painful interference with regular movements. Joint pain is a common condition that affects one-third of adults and is caused by more than 160 different conditions. Joint pain if chronic and left untreated can lead to:
- Strains and sprains
The joint cavity and cartilage generally provide protection to the joint and allow it to move smoothly while cushioning the pressure. Joint pain takes place because of inflammation or damage to the cartilage causing excess friction between the bones, resulting in pain, swelling, or stiffness of joints. The joints that are affected the most are those that support the body’s weight, especially if they are over-used for daily activities.
Although joint pain can affect any part of the body, knee pain is perhaps the most common of complaints, and is followed by shoulder pain and hip pain. As we get older, joint pain becomes more common. Osteoarthritis is one of the most disabling joint diseases as it causes a degeneration of the cartilage connecting bone joints. It’s most common in those over 70 years, but there are some cases of 40 year olds with osteoarthritis as well. Of all osteoarthritis cases 80% patience will have limitations in their movements and 25% are not able to go about their daily activities normally.
Treatment and prevention
Treatment of joint pain depends largely on the specific underlying cause. If you have severely damaged joints your doctor may advise joint replacement surgery, immunosuppressants may be advised if your joint pain is the result of immune system dysfunction, or antibiotics may be prescribed when infection is the cause.
Consult your doctor about the use of Aspirin or other pain-relieving medications that are safe to use and will be effective in fighting underlying inflammation in joint damage.
Here are some tips for preventing and relieving joint pain:
- Eat a healthy diet that is rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Use your bigger joints for carrying a heavy load. For example, sling your shopping bag on your arm instead looping it on your wrist or dangling it from your fingers.
- Exercise to keep your body at a healthy weight that is suitable for your height, gender, body type, and age.
- Stretch and warm up before exercising
- Vary the way you work and avoid using the same joints each time.