In some cases, joint pain can be attributed to arthritis or other degenerative diseases. But in many other cases, joint pain is caused by less severe conditions. These include over-exertion, muscle strain, dehydration, obesity, and poor posture. The best course of action is to talk with a doctor about potential treatments and relief options in these cases. While there’s no cure for age-related osteoarthritis, there are still ways to treat and prevent it. In this article, we’ll detail a few simple steps to avoid these common causes of joint pain in the first place.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight can strain joints, especially weight-bearing joints like the knees. People who are overweight often have to support their extra weight with stronger muscles, overworking the joints. Carrying excess pounds puts additional stress on knee cartilage, which explains why obesity is related to osteoarthritis of the knees. But being overweight also affects other joints, including the hips and back, leading to pain in these areas. The best way to avoid this type of pain is to maintain a healthy body weight.
The right kinds of exercise can help improve joint health by strengthening muscles that support joints. This means it’s not just important to exercise, but also to make sure it’s the right kind of exercise. Osteoarthritis is more likely to develop in areas where cartilage has worn away, so activities like swimming or bicycling, which don’t put stress on joints, are better than high-impact activities like running. Strength training exercises can also help strengthen muscles that support the joint and reduce the strain placed on them during everyday tasks.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration causes joint pain by causing small tears in the cartilage of the joints. Eight cups a day is a good rule of thumb for most healthy adults. If you live in a very hot or dry climate, you will likely need more than eight cups a day. Also, keep an eye on your urine if it is dark, as this is a sign of possible dehydration.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Keeping a balanced diet can help keep joints healthy because it provides the body with essential vitamins and nutrients. In particular, vitamin C helps prevent osteoarthritis from developing in some cases. Vitamin E may also help, although studies are still being conducted to learn more about this. Proteins are also vital because they can help keep cartilage healthy by providing it with amino acids for repairing damaged tissue.
Practice Good Posture
Posture has a significant effect on joint health, and it’s essential to make sure that the body is aligned correctly. This helps relieve stress from certain areas and allows joints to stay lubricated and healthy. If muscles are working correctly because of good posture, they won’t be as likely to tear or wear down. In particular, it’s crucial to avoid slouching because this causes neck and shoulder pain that can spread throughout the body. Make sure you have a chair at work that is adjustable so you can sit with proper posture all day long.
Take Appropriate Supplements
Some supplements may help reduce joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Vitamin C is one of the most well-known supplements for this, and studies have shown that large doses of vitamin C may help protect against osteoarthritis. It’s important to note that it’s best not to take too much vitamin C because this can cause problems like kidney stones in some cases. Omega -3 fatty acids like those in fish oil may also help, which is why some doctors recommend their patients eat more fish to manage the pain of arthritis.
Smoking impairs blood flow, which can harm joints. In particular, smoking reduces the oxygen supply to the cartilage, leading to further damage. Studies show that men and women smokers are at higher risk for osteoarthritis of the knee and hip than non-smokers and that quitting smoking can reduce this risk significantly.
Stretching will help keep muscles strong and supple, vital for joints constantly under pressure. Stretching can also improve circulation, which can be especially helpful to those with arthritis because this condition causes joint pain by reducing the amount of blood flow. Make sure not to overdo it, though, as excessive stretching can have the opposite effect by causing muscles to tense up.
Be Careful With Pain Medicines
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, are often prescribed for joint pain because they reduce inflammation. While these medications may provide temporary relief, long-term use has been shown to harm cartilage and the overall health of joints. Ensure you take NSAIDs with plenty of water, and it’s essential to follow all dosing instructions and only use them as needed.
Joint pain is a common problem that makes even the most simple tasks difficult. If you suffer from chronic joint pain, it’s often tempting to just take prescription medications and hope for relief. However, surgery is often the only way to manage arthritis symptoms and isn’t always an option for everyone due to age or other medical conditions. So if you would look to avoid a potential surgery or a life filled with joint pain, take these steps to help prevent achy joints.