Feeling pain in your joints lately? You’re not alone — one in three adults report feeling some form of joint pain, making it one of the most common ailments impacting the quality of life of active adults. Joint pain can have many causes, so if your pain lasts longer than a week or so, it’s best to determine the root cause.
Here are some of the most common types of joint pain and a few tips on how to avoid them in the future:
Pain due to injury
Regular exercise increases overall health and fitness. Unfortunately, it also leaves you prone to different types of injury and pain if not practiced correctly. Joint injuries are some of the most common exercise-related ailments and can cause long-term problems if not dealt with in time. Overall, there are many different ways in which you can injure your joints during a workout: by forgetting to warm up before exercise, overusing a joint or applying too much pressure to it, wearing improper equipment or using the wrong technique while exercising. You can usually recognize this type of joint pain by the kind of workout you completed — Runners often experience knee pain, weightlifters shoulder pain and tennis players elbow pain. If the pain persists, it’s important to see a doctor, but in the meantime make sure to take the necessary precautions while working out.
- Begin an exercise routine slowly
Rushing into physical activity after a long period of inactivity can be a shock to your body. It’s always best to ease into a training program to avoid overexertion and injury.
- Wear the appropriate footwear
Make sure to wear shoes that are adapted to your exercise regimen. Running shoes, for instance, are imperative and help prevent long-term knee damage.
- Use the appropriate technique
A lot of the time, injuries happen because exercise equipment is poorly used or because the training method is wrong. It’s best to consult with a trainer whenever beginning a new exercise program to minimize the risk of injury.
Joint inflammation can be a painful condition that results in swelling and stiffness around the joint. There are many different types of joint inflammation, and they can be caused by some factors. So while bacterial joint inflammation is a result of various bacteria entering the body and causing painful inflammation in your joints, arthritic pain can be caused by different types of mechanical stress and even autoimmune disorders which attack the body’s joints. Joint inflammation commonly results in pain, swelling and redness in your joints, especially in the hip, knee, wrist and ankle joints. Sometimes bacterial inflammation also results in fever. Some other disorders can also lead to joint inflammation (e.g. Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease, and Hashimoto’s Thyroditis), so it’s important to speak to a medical professional to determine the underlying cause of the illness. In addition to the therapy, your doctor prescribes, it’s also smart to make some lifestyle changes which will alleviate your symptoms.
- Make changes in your diet
Joint inflammation can be alleviated by making certain changes in your diet. For instance, a diet rich in fish, garlic, fruits, nuts and good oils such as olive and avocado oil can have a positive effect on reducing inflammation in your joints. It is also vital to maintain a healthy weight — packing on those unnecessary pounds means putting additional pressure on your joints and increasing the risk of inflammation and pain. If you’re craving something sweet, it’s best to opt for chocolate with 70% cocoa which is also excellent at fighting inflammation.
- Exercise regularly
Although exercising might seem counterintuitive when you are experiencing joint pains, it is important to keep your joints flexible and supple. This will alleviate your joint pain and have an overall positive effect on your body. Swimming and light yoga, for instance, are great forms of exercise because they don’t put much pressure on your joints but nevertheless exercise muscles throughout your entire body.
- Find the appropriate pain relief technique
Each person’s joint pain symptoms are different. Consult with your doctor and physical therapist about pain-management techniques such as cryotherapy (applying ice packs) and other ways to take the pain and pressure off your joints.