The process of aging is inevitable! Despite this harsh reality, you can take measures to slow down the aging cycle even if you cannot reverse it all together. As the aging clock starts to tick, you will experience various disorders and illnesses that will have a damaging impact on your joints.
The most common condition is rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis which will affects the smooth functionality of your joints. As such, it is essential that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet as well as as adopting the necessary measures to protect your joints. Before we go into the several guidelines on how to take the pressure off your joints, lets explore the common causes of joint pain.
What Causes Joint Pain?
Our joints play a vital role in the smooth functioning of the bone movements while coordinating with the respective muscles, tendons and ligaments. Any pressure or tension exerted on the joints will eventually cause hindrance in your overall body movements. The first step towards joint protection is to understand as to what are the underlying causes of painful and degenerative joints. The major causes are listed as follows:
- Injury – Any accident or trauma that damages the ligaments, bursae or tendons surrounding the joint will lead towards severe joint pain. It may also damage the ligaments, cartilage or the bone present in the joint structure. In severe cases immediate medical attention needs to be sought.
- Joint infection and inflammation – There are various types of joint infections that results in the symptoms of redness, soreness and swelling of the joints. The term arthritis means joint inflammation and there are over 100 different types of arthritis present. Yes, it may come as a shock to you, but in reality, almost one-third of the adult population complains about joint pain and disorders due to arthritic joints.
- Bursitis – This is a type of joint inflammation in which the cushioning pads surrounding the joints get inflamed and results in severe discomfort.
- Lupus – This is an autoimmune condition in which your body’s immune system starts to attack the normal healthy tissues. This has a drastic impact on the health of your joints, kidney, blood, lungs, heart and other organs.
- Gout – In this disorder the blood uric acid level rises abnormally along with a sudden onset of acute arthritis. The deposition of sodium urate crystals in the connective tissue and cartilage leads towards joint discomfort and pain.
- Certain infectious ailments – There are various infections that affect your joints such as mumps, hepatitis and influenza.
- Chondromalacia of the patella – This is an extremely painful condition in which the cartilage of the knee is broken which exposes the joint to wear and tear.
- Osteoporosis – This condition causes thinning of your bones which makes them prone to fractures.
What Are The Symptoms Of Joint Pain?
Your joint pain may fall on the range of mildly irritating to debilitating. Depending on the severity of your pain, your doctor will prescribe you the necessary medications and diagnostic tests to determine the cause. It is therefore imperative to understand the symptoms of joint pain and consult a doctor to start your treatment at the earliest stage. The following are the common symptoms that hint towards joint disorders:
- Swelling or inflammation of the joints.
- Warm feeling experienced in your joints.
- Redness or soreness prevalent in the joint region.
- Stiffness experienced in bone movements.
- If you are troubled by limited joint movements.
- Sharp radiating pain in the body joints.
It should be thoroughly noted that these symptoms may also be caused to do another condition or disease. Joint pain is a symptom itself for various joint conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis and many more.
What Are The 12 Ways To Protect Your Joints?
Have you recently experienced sharp radiating pain in your knees while climbing the stairs? Did you find it difficult to lift your grocery bags? If you are nodding in approval, chances are that you have weak joints and need to take the corrective measures to avoid further deterioration of joint health. Make sure that you adhere to the following list of advices to take the pressure off your joints.
- Avoid sitting in your office chair glued to the computer screen – The 21st century has turned us into corporate slaves that give preference to work over one’s health. If you confine yourself to a chair for continuous long hours, your back joints will experience over-exertion and stress. If you are sitting make sure that your knees are bent at 90 degrees angle. This posture will help to distribute the stress evenly on your body joints. It is best to give yourself a break after every hour and move around to do some back or neck stretching.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects – For those individuals who are complaining about stiff arms and back pain, you need to stop lifting those heavy objects. The key is to slide that 3 gallon of water bottle till your counter instead of putting unnecessary strain on your joints. This action will help to relieve the stress and will also protect your joints.
- Place everyday use objects in waist-level shelves – If you are troubled with back pain every time you reach up to find your favorite coat, then it is time to do some re-arrangment of your shelves. The actions of reaching up or bending down exerts pressure on your back, knee and hip joints which may lead towards increased wear and tear. It is ideal to keep all your everyday items in drawers or shelves that come to your waist level. It is simple precaution like these that will make a considerable difference in the health of your joints.
- Avoid using your small joints – The smaller joints of your body are more susceptible to injury and deformity. This is the main reason why orthopedics advice to shift or lift the pressure from smaller joint to the larger joints. An example of shifting of weight is to use a shoulder purse instead of a clutch which will put strain on your finger joints.
- Avoid using ONLY one hand – It has been observed that majority of the patients who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis experience discomfort in their wrists and hands. It is advisable to use both your hands to lift heavy objects in order to distribute the pressure evenly on the joints.
- Using assistive devices – There are various assistive devices that help to increase your grip to ensure that minimal stress is exerted on your joints. Long shoe horns, automatic jar openers, long handled bath sponges, braces, splints and elevated chair legs are some of the examples of self-help devices that will make your life easier and joint pain-free.
- Indulge in gentle exercises – The most effective method for joint health regeneration is to adopt an active exercise regime. By exercising on a daily basis you will enhance the blood circulation to the muscles which in turn will boost the regeneration mechanism. Your joints need require proper exercise for their smooth function and movement.The added advantage is that you will be able to lose weight while protecting your joints health.The common examples of gentle exercises are Tai chi and Qigong exercises which enhance the elasticity and strength of your joints. In addition, you can visit the yoga trainers in your neighborhood to adopt various other gentle exercises that build up your muscle strength while maintaining your joints health.
- Shed off those extra pounds – The more you weigh, the more the pressure exerted on your knees, back, hips and feet. This automatically makes these joints more vulnerable to wear and tear. Your joints will weaken if you continue your unhealthy eating habits and may lead towards permanent damage. Make sure that you tone your body and get the ideal weight so you can relieve the stress from your joints. So if you have been finding excuses to avoid going to the gym, now is the perfect opportunity to make it a habit and get the added bonus of relieving yourself from the uncomfortable joint pain.
- Increase intake of almonds – Almonds are rich in Vitamin E which is vital in protecting the protective layer of your joints. Vitamin E plays a vital role in enhancing physical endurance, healing muscle injury after exercise and building muscle strength. There are various other food items that are rich in Vitamin E such as tofu, spinach, avocados, fish, olive oil and broccoli.
- Use turmeric in cooking – Turmeric is an excellent spice for curing joint inflammation and pain mainly due to the presence of the compound curcumin. It is an alternative medicine for curing various joint disorders.
- Stay yes to broccoli – Throughout your early life your teachers and parents kept stressing the importance of eating green vegetables! Well, now that you are aging and your joints are becoming weaker. Therefore, it is time to practice these childhood valuable health lessons by increasing the consumption of broccoli in your diet. The presence of sulforaphane helps to block the enzymes that damage your joints.Eating a balanced diet is the most essential step in reviving the health of your joints. By increasing the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, you will observe a remarkable difference in your overall health.
- Learn the pain-free posture – Patients suffering from joint disorders should really focus on learning and maintaining a perfect posture. This means that when you sit or walk straight, adopt the correct posture so that all your joints are in the relaxed state with minimal stress or tension being exerted on them.According to the yoga instructors and chiropractors, keeping a straight posture will help to put the pressure off your joints for they are not being utilized in maintaining an unsupported off-centre body posture. To get the perfect pain-free posture you need to join a yoga class for they can guide you the best advice on learning the correct body postures.
Remember! Living in today’s fast paced society, it is very easy to overlook one’s health. Therefore, it is fundamental for you to take care of yourself first and look for early signs and symptoms that may serve as an early warning for a serious disorder. The sooner you start to practice these methods to protect your joints, you will still see yourself moving around smoothly without any discomfort or pain even at an old age.