As we age, aches and pain seem to be part of who we are. Joint pain becomes part of our day-to-day life, so we don’t think too much about it. We may attribute joint pain to our active past in our youth or simply the fact that we are getting older.
But oftentimes, joint pain has nothing to do with our exercise level and age and more to do with alternative factors.
In fact, joint pain can actually be your body’s way of telling you something just isn’t quite right. So, before you dismiss your joint pain, consider some of these illnesses associated with joint pain that your body is warning you about.
What Your Joint Pain Is a Sign Of
Medication side effects: Medications are prescribed as a means to treat a pre-existing illness. But sometimes, it can result in some nasty side effects, including joint pain. Certain antibiotics, like penicillin, can add fuel to the fire causing your joint pain to worsen.
If your joint pain is followed by red rashes on the skin, stomach troubles, and red eyes, you can be experiencing side effects of medication. Speak with your doctor right away for a change of treatment.
Bone cancer: Although the chances are low – the American Cancer Association estimates 2,970 new bone cancer cases in 2015 – joint pain can still be a symptom of bone cancer. Depending on how long you’ve been experiencing the pain and if the swelling has accompanied the pain, it’s still worth getting checked out.
Because bone cancer symptoms are similar to arthritis, getting a medical opinion can rule out its severity.
Hypothyroidism: Women in their 60s are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition with the thyroid where the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. In its early stages, symptoms are minimal, but obesity, joint pain, and heart disease can all occur over time.
There are many tests available to detect hypothyroidism, so you don’t need to worry much about being left in the dark. If you fall into some of the risk factors of hypothyroidism – female, over 60, family history – then you should get yourself checked out and catch it in its early stages.
Bursitis: Highly painful, bursitis affects the areas that cushion the bones. The bursae – the cushions to joint pain may be sign of bursitis the bones – become inflamed, causing pain. Any joint in the body can be affected by bursitis, especially those that complete repetitive motions like the shoulders or elbows.
Bursitis most commonly occurs with age and if you perform repetitive motions. Bursitis can also be linked with other joint illnesses like gout and arthritis and those with diabetes may experience it as well.
Don’t Dismiss Your Joint Pain
These are only some of the illnesses linked with joint pain, but the spectrum is quite large. Other illnesses of which joint pain is a symptom include Lyme disease, sarcoidosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and sprains.
Joint pain can hinder your ability to function, but knowing what’s causing your joint pain can put you on the right track to recovery. Always pay attention to your pain: Where is it? How long is it lasting? What offers relief? These are all vital questions you should be asking yourself to get to the bottom of it. If your joint pain is quite persistent, though, and you’ve tried many natural and medicinal remedies, seeking out medical advice is your best bet. You don’t have to live in pain, so why not work on stopping it?
Ways to Get Relief from Joint Pain
Swimming is often touted as a low-impact exercise, but it can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from joint pain. When you’re in the pool, gravity is no longer a factor which takes some of the pressure off of your joints. This can help to reduce pain and stiffness while also improving the range of motion.
In addition, swimming is an excellent way to increase muscle strength and endurance. The water’s resistance helps tone muscles, while the aerobic benefits provide a helpful cardio workout. As a result, swimming is a great way to stay active without putting too much strain on your body. So, next time you’re looking for a workout, consider giving swimming a try.
Yoga is a low-impact form of exercise that can offer significant benefits for people with joint pain. In a recent study, yoga was found to improve pain, vitality, and other well-being factors in sedentary adults with RA.
While yoga is not a cure-all for joint pain, it can be an effective way to get your joints moving without doing further damage. If you are interested in yoga for joint pain relief, consult with your doctor first and find a class tailored to your needs.
Tai chi is a slow, flowing Chinese martial art that is sometimes described as “meditation in motion.” Tai chi is based on the philosophy of yin and yang, which is the idea that opposites are interconnected and interdependent. Tai chi movements are slow and rhythmic, often performed in a state of mental and physical relaxation.
Tai chi has many health benefits, including relieving inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis pain. Tai chi is a low-impact exercise, which means that it does not put much stress on the joints. Tai chi can also help improve balance and coordination, increasing flexibility and muscle strength. Tai chi is generally safe for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Nuts and Seeds
For those who suffer from joint pain, there is good news. A small daily portion of nuts and seeds can help reduce joints and connective tissue inflammation. Walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds or pine nuts are all excellent sources of omega-3s, which are known to reduce inflammation.
Furthermore, nuts and seeds are a healthy alternative to animal products, making them a good choice for vegetarians and vegans. So if you’re looking for a way to reduce joint pain, add a handful of nuts or seeds to your diet each day.
Lentils and Beans
Lentils and beans are not only a great source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals, but they also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Black beans, lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, and soybeans are all great sources of anthocyanins, the flavonoid that has been known to reduce inflammation.
Studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in anthocyanins are less likely to suffer from joint pain. In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, beans and lentils are also a good source of soluble fiber, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and help control blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can also help to keep you feeling full after a meal, making it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight which can also help with joint pain.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids / Fish Oils
If you’re looking for a natural way to reduce joint pain, you may want to consider adding cold-water fish to your diet. These fish are a terrific source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help reduce inflammatory proteins in the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids are sometimes referred to as polyunsaturated fatty acids, and they’re essential nutrients that can positively impact your health. In addition to reducing joint pain, omega-3 fatty acids can also help to improve heart health and brain function. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your health, cold-water fish should definitely be on your menu.
Olive oil is famous as a cooking oil but is just as popular for its potential health benefits. It has been found to reduce inflammation and can also be used as a natural remedy for joint pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil help reduce swelling and stiffness in the joints. In addition, olive oil contains a type of fat called Omega-3, which is known to be beneficial for joint health.
To get the most benefits from olive oil, it is best to use it in moderation. This means using it in place of other oils, such as vegetable or canola oil, rather than adding it on top of your regular diet. You can also drizzle olive oil on salads or cooked vegetables or use it as a dipping sauce for bread. When buying olive oil, look for brands that are cold-pressed and certified organic. These olive oils are less processed and have a higher nutrient content.
Say No to Stress
The body’s immune system is said to be negatively affected by stress. This is because stress causes the release of chemicals that cause inflammation, and your arthritic pain may get aggravated with higher levels of stress. Thus, it is important to practice relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga, which are said to help with joint pain.
Meditation helps to focus on the present moment and forget about stressful thoughts, while yoga involves physical postures that help to stretch and strengthen the muscles. These relaxation techniques can help to reduce stress levels and hence, improve the symptoms of arthritis.
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do if you suffer from joint pain. The chemicals in cigarettes damage the body’s natural healing process, making it harder to recover from injuries and inflammation. In addition, smoking reduces blood flow, making it difficult to get the nutrients and oxygen that joints need to stay healthy.
The constant coughing that comes with smoking can also trigger joint pain in the back and neck. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your joint pain and overall health. By quitting smoking, you can prevent further damage to your joints and reduce your risk of other serious health problems.
Joint pain is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, injury, and obesity. While it is often assumed that only overweight individuals suffer from joint pain, this is not necessarily true. However, excess weight can strain the joints, leading to pain and accelerated wear and tear.
For this reason, it is important for those who are overweight to lose weight to take pressure off the joints and reduce the risk of joint pain. If you struggle to lose weight on your own, consult a doctor or nutritionist who can help you develop a healthy weight loss plan.
Hot and Cold Therapy
When it comes to hot water bottles and ice packs, both have their place in medicine. Heat therapy can help to open up the blood vessels and promote blood flow, while cold therapy will tighten the blood vessels to reduce inflammation.
As a general rule of thumb, for chronic pain, you use heat; if it’s an acute injury, you use a cold compress. But some people may just do better with heat, or someone with chronic pain might find more relief with cold, so try both and figure out which makes you feel the best. Ultimately, hot and cold therapy can both be effective ways to manage pain.
Use Shoe Insert
Walking is a low-impact activity that can offer many benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and increased muscle activity. However, sometimes the impact of walking can cause pain, not only in the feet and ankles but even in the knees and hips.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce this pain and make walking more comfortable. One way is to get fitted for the right shoe simply. Another is to invest in a shoe insert, which can provide additional cushioning for the foot. Finally, scheduling a visit with a podiatrist who can offer suggestions based on arch height and instep may be helpful. By taking these steps, you can ensure that walking remains a healthy and enjoyable activity.
Most people know that massages can help reduce stress, but few know the potential benefits of joint pain relief. A recent study found that moderate-pressure massage may help to improve symptoms in adults with arthritis. Forty-two participants were divided into two groups, with one group receiving a light massage and the other a moderate massage.
After one month, those in the moderate massage group had less pain, a better range of motion, and stronger grip strength. These findings suggest that massage may be an effective part of a treatment plan for joint pain relief. For best results, consult a licensed massage therapist to determine the right type of massage for your needs.