Welcome to jointsandyourhealth.com. As the name suggests, we are here to help all people who may be suffering from joint pain and looking for help and relief. If you’re suffering from severe joint pain, we hope to give you some clarity on what could be causing your suffering and home remedies to treat the same, above and beyond prescribed medical care. We wish to act as a supplement to help you strengthen not just your joints but also your resolve and determination to never let the pain interfere with the things you want to do. So let’s start with basics, like what exactly is joint pain?
What is Joint Pain?
To answer this question, we must first understand what joints are and why they are such important areas of the body. The intersections in the body where different bones meet each other are what is medically referred to as joints. This includes points at the body such as your elbows, your knees, your shoulders, your hips, your back and your wrists. Think about these areas of the body. Why are they so important? This is because bones cannot work on their own and perhaps would even be impaired from staying in place without joints. With the help of muscles, joints assist the bones in performing their functions and are in fact what stabilize our motion and allow us freedom of movement.
When we talk about joint pain, we are referring to any pain or even discomfort that one is experiencing in these areas. These pains can range from itches and dull throbs to more severe pains and serious injury.
How Do I Know If I Have Joint Pain?
If you have joint pain, your body will react to it, and the discomfort will be felt. If you are feeling a pain in any of the parts of the body mentioned above or your thighs, ankles or other joints in the body, the first thing you should do is check for swelling in the area and then test the mobility of that joint. If the area is swollen or you find that you are unable to move that part of the body or connected limbs, or if you find that movement is causing you severe pain, you probably have joint pain. If the pain is severe enough to cause swelling or immobility, it is imperative you see a doctor right away so as to ensure the injury does not become worse. If the pain is not so severe but persists for a prolonged period of time, between 2 to 4 days, you should still see a doctor. Not treating joint pain over an extended period of time can result in a heavy or total loss of motor functions in the connecting limbs.
What Causes Joint Pain?
One of the most prevalent causes of joint pain is arthritis, which, despite being more common in elderly people, can still occur in young and healthy persons. The two forms of arthritis most found are rheumatoid arthritis (hereinafter referred to as RA) and osteoarthritis (hereinafter referred to as OA). OA, which is mostly found only in adults above 40 years of age, causes the cartilage around various joints to wear away and break down. This cartilage is what provides a sort of cushioning effect to joints and absorbs the brunt of the damage in any major fall or accident. So a disruption in its normal function can cause severe joint pain. RA, which is more prevalent in women than men, affects the joints directly and leads to the body’s immune system targeting and attacking the membrane tissue that lines the joints. This causes the fluid in the joints to build up and results in the weakening and deforming of the joints, as well as pain and inflammation in those areas. Gout and Osteoporosis are also complex types of arthritis, the former causing sudden pain and swelling at the joints and the latter causing a gradual weakening of the bones.
There are still many other ailments that cause joint pain, such as lupus, an autoimmune disease which causes the body’s immune system to attack itself, fibromyalgia, which is a central nervous system disorder that causes hypersensitivity and affecting the soft tissue and muscle, rickets, which is a weakness of the bones largely caused by malnutrition, and sarcoidosis, a disease which cause abnormal masses consisting of inflamed tissue to form of certain organs in the body causing severe pain. Certain types of cancer or even the treatments for the same can also cause joint pain, along with inflammation of the tendons, infections occurring in the bones, and even overuse of the joint areas. Any kind of breakdown or inflammation of the cartilage and muscle tissue surrounding joints will also lead to joint pain.
What Can I Do?
If your joint pain has persisted for a while or is seriously hindering your ability to function, visit a doctor to know more about what might be causing your joint pain. An X-Ray can help to determine if the causes are arthritis related, while specific blood tests can help determine if it has been caused by an auto-immune disease. In cases of joint pain caused by inflammation of the surrounding tendons, muscles or cartilage, anti-inflammatory medication can be prescribed to best treat it. Similar medications can also be prescribed to one diagnosed with arthritis though doctors have determined that arthritis is a chronic condition and cannot be cured completely. But don’t lose hope. While all forms of joint pain are not guaranteed to be curable, there are still many treatments that can be tried to manage and best reduce the pain.
Home Remedies to Manage Joint Pain
Keeping in mind that these practices are to be followed alongside and as a supplement to any medical treatment prescribed by a doctor, it has been found that developing certain habits at home can help reduce the pain felt in your joint areas. These range from tasks as simple as ensuring you have a hot water bath regularly and getting a weekly massage to following a fitness programme with a focus on bone strengthening. Yoga and other similar exercises that focus on flexibility and limberness (as opposed to running and cycling that focus on increasing your heart rate) can help to strengthen your bones and joints. Even lighter forms of exercise like walks and stretches can be really effective on relieving some of the pain if done regularly. This also helps keep your weight on the lower side of the scale, which puts less pressure on certain joints, especially your knees. And if you’re going for a walk, we advise you to take it during in the morning or afternoon and soak in all the sun you can, as sunlight helps in the production of Vitamin D in our bodies which also helps in improving bone strength. Keeping a heating pad or hot water bag on the affected joints when you sleep can help bring down the swelling and lessen the pain, as does use of an electric heated blanket. This is what can be referred to as heat therapy. In case your joint pain is being caused by an injury, a similar but contrary method, Cold therapy is more effective, requiring cold gel packs or ice to be placed at the injured area for up to the first 24 hours periodically. Topical creams and herbal ointments have also proven to provide relief to sudden and random pains caused by injury or overuse.