Joints are what connect bones. They provide support and make it possible for you to move. Any damage to joints either caused by injury or disease could interfere with movement and may cause severe pain. Joint pain usually occurs when the bursae, tendons, or ligaments surrounding a joint are affected, and this may include the bones, cartilage, and ligaments within the joint. The most commonly affected joints are knees, ankles, and shoulders.
Signs and Symptoms of Joint Pain
– Joint swelling
– Joint redness
– Joint warmth
– A lower motion range
– Weakness in joint
– Joint Locking
Causes of Joint Pain
So, what are the most common causes of joint pain? They include:
- Old age. As we grow older, collagen, responsible for building cartilage within our joints, starts to deteriorate leading to joint pains and aches.
- Osteoarthritis and Arthritis. People suffering from arthritis can start experiencing pain due to complex neurophysiological processes which bring about painful sensations and inflammation in and around joints.
- Joint overuse through repetitive movements. Most athletes in different sports are likely to experience joint pain as they tend to put a lot of pressure on particular joints over and over again.
- Impact, trauma, or injuries
- Poor posture
- Injuries that place pressure on joints.
- Infection or illness
Natural Yet Effective Joint Pain Remedies
Epsom Salt Soak
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is one of the most effective ways to relieving joint pain. Epsom salt is full of sulfates and magnesium and is easily assimilated into the body through the skin to offer fast relief. These salts can relax tense areas, lessen inflammation, and reduce muscle spasms. Simply add two cups of Epsom salts to a warm bath and soak for at least thirty minutes. You can also use Epsom Salts in a compress that you apply directly on your skin. Dilute two cups of these salts in a gallon of water than soak a towel for a couple of minutes, allowing it to absorb the solution.
Hot and Cold Packs
If you are experiencing severe joint pain, then a hot-and-cold approach is one of the best ways to experience immediate joint pain relief. Place a hot gel pack on the affected area for about twenty minutes and immediately follow it up with an ice-cold pack for another twenty. If you cannot stand the severity of the cold, then allow it to thaw while applying heat. Even mildly-chilled packs can help bring immediate relief to stiff areas. If possible, apply heat or ice for about 15 minutes every day. Keep the affected area elevated if the swelling is quite severe to reduce fluid retention.
Exercise and Movement
Stiffness in muscles because of inactivity can lead to joint pain and could worsen conditions like arthritis. For instance, leg muscle tension can add stress on hips and knees as weaker muscles contribute to higher risks for injuries and instability. Exercising regularly may help as it will stretch and strengthen affected muscles and joints, improving circulation and reducing pain. At the same time, the stronger your joints and muscles become, the better your chances of staying active without having to deal with pain. This may also prevent weight gain, which could add more pressure to already sore joints. The best low-impact exercises and activities to engage in include water aerobics, swimming, walking, yoga, and cycling.
However, it is advisable that you start an active lifestyle and stick to it. But remember, you do not have to commit to several hours of cardio to consider yourself active. You can always take up burst training exercises – they are a good way of staying active almost anywhere, and with very little time. However, it is advisable that you start small as you build up strength and coordination and increase flexibility in weak areas. Wearing a wrap or brace around painful joints can help as you start, so consider seeking advice from a physical therapist if you are thinking of using this approach.
Collagen and Other Supplements
Collagen is a protein found in our bodies and is responsible for building joints and keeping our connective tissues strong. The protein contains about 19 different amino acids that play crucial roles in both physical and mental health, and that includes eliminating pain. As collagen acts like some sort of natural glue, holding things like our joints and skin together, it plays a crucial role in decreasing arthritis, boosting energy, healing the walls of our digestive tract and arteries, supporting healthy muscle growth, and improved cell recovery. To increase your collagen levels, consider going for foods with high levels of protein like eggshell membranes, fish, chicken, and beef. It can also be found in supplement form or can be obtained naturally by consuming real bone broth.
A few extra pounds can put unnecessary strain on your bones and joints. If you experience joint pains and bone disorders like Osteoporosis, being overweight may accelerate bone degeneration. Shedding a few pounds may prevent future problems from occurring and can considerably ease joint pain. In most cases, when being obese or overweight is contributing to health problems, experts will recommend that one loses about 5-10% of their total body weight to see if the symptoms improve.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent joint pain is changing your diet. Chronic inflammation may cause weakness and may cause tissue degeneration. Taking up an anti-inflammatory diet may help ease bone and joint pain brought about by swelling and inflammation. The Omega 3 fatty acids available in some foods like chia seeds, walnuts, and cold-water fish work great when it comes to easing inflammation in joints and the body as a whole. Fresh vegetable and fruits are loaded with antioxidants which act as very good anti-aging agents. It is advisable that you try to limit or avoid eating processed foods, added sugars, and trans-fats as they can lead to severe inflammation in the body.
Precautions When Training Joint Pain
As the reasons why, you might be experiencing joint pain vary, it is advisable that you see a doctor for a diagnosis if your symptoms are unexplained, sudden or last for more than a couple of weeks. A doctor can help you understand the potential causes of your problem, like your exercise routine, stress levels, or diet, as he or she helps you tackle the symptoms. For recently injured or very inflamed joints, do your best to rest the area and use train patches. If the pain is on and off, then work on staying active and gently stretch the area from time to time to keep prevent stiffening.