Read About How to Care For Your Joints and Ease Joint Pain
Many people around the world suffer from one level of joint pain or another and try to manage it in different ways. Joint pain refers to the aches, soreness, and discomfort in one or multiple body joints. This medical condition has several possible causes, but it is usually the result of an injury or illness. One common cause of joint pain is arthritis which has two primary forms called osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis arthritis mostly affects older people and is primarily caused by the breakdown of the protective cartilage that eases the friction in the joints. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune problem that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy body cells, causing painful swelling in the joints.
Another common cause of joint pains is Lyme disease which is caused by bacteria transmitted to humans through tick bites. Although joint pain is a major symptom of Lyme disease, it often occurs in people during the late stages of the disease. In the initial stage, the condition can be treated with antibiotics. But the bacteria may continue causing tissue damage even after treatment with antibiotics.
According to Lyme Mexico Clinic, a Lyme disease clinic, ”Lyme disease can often become persistent, recurrent, and refractory even in the face of traditional antibiotic therapy. Ideally, treatment of Lyme should be prompt and aggressive to stop the bacteria from spreading. Prompt and aggressive treatment doesn’t always happen, and Lyme patients often find themselves with worsening symptoms and a poor quality of life.”
Other causes of joint pain are previous injuries, gout, lupus, weight, and overuse of the joints. It is advisable to see a doctor if you have a fever, if the pain persists for up to three days, or if the area around the affected joint is red, tender, swollen, or warm. These tips can help you get relief from joint pain and manage the condition.
Regular exercise can help to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint and increase flexibility. It’s crucial you choose the right kinds of activities that can build the muscles around the joints without damaging them. You can engage in physical activities like walking, swimming, cycling, tai chi, and yoga. When exercising, try to focus on stretching, increasing the range of motion of the joints, and gradually increasing your strength.
Avoid high-impact exercises that involve repetitive motion, such as running, tennis, jumping, and high-impact aerobics. A physical therapist can develop an ideal workout program for you.
2. Weight Management
Excess weight can increase stress on the joints, especially the knees, causing or worsening joint pain. Weight management can help ease weight-induced joint pain and improve mobility. Weight loss may not reverse the primary cause of joint pain (such as arthritis), but it can prevent further damage and help the affected joints feel better.
You can find a weight loss program to help you lose weight in a healthy way. Ensure you seek your doctor’s opinion before adopting any weight loss program. This is especially important if you have other medical conditions such as diabetes and heart problems that can be exacerbated by certain weight loss practices.
3. Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy can help relieve inflammation and swelling associated with joint pain. You can get quick relief from cold treatments by wrapping a bag of frozen vegetables or a gel ice pack in a clean cloth and placing it on the affected joints.
To use heat, take a warm bath to help ease stiffness or use a heating pad on the aching joints. Don’t use the heating pads for more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid burning yourself.
4. Healthy Diet
Certain foods such as red meat, saturated fat, added sugars, excess salt, and processed foods are known to aggravate inflammation, a symptom that often accompanies joint pain. They can also contribute to health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which often occur with arthritis.
Opt for a healthy diet rich in whole foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables. They can deliver antioxidants that fight inflammation, help you maintain a healthy weight, boost your immune system, and improve overall health.
Massages can help relieve muscle stiffness and joint pain, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation around the affected area. You can ask a physical therapist to teach you self-massage or ask your physician to recommend an experienced massage therapist. You can also try relaxation therapy that involves meditation and deep breathing to help ease the joint pain.
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