If you experience joint pain on a regular basis, it’s highly likely that you’re not enjoying the best quality of life possible. Joints are the connections between bones that allow movement to body parts like your knees, hips, shoulders, neck, and elbows. Over time, it’s common for joints to wear down, causing conditions like osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease affecting over a third of adults age 60 or older.
However, aging doesn’t mean you have to be subjected to pain every time you move or that you have to deal with a decrease in your mobility because of that pain. Knowing what causes joint pain, as well as how to make the right types of lifestyle changes, can help make a difference in maintaining or improving joint health.
Normal wear and tear or overusing a particular joint throughout your lifetime can lead to pain and restricted movement. Or, injuries to cartilage can cause damage to your joints and make everyday activities difficult. Joint pain can range from being fairly mild to extremely debilitating and can last for just a few weeks to several months depending on whether the pain is acute or chronic.
It’s important to keep in mind that your joints are just one component of your entire musculoskeletal system, which also includes your bones, muscles, and ligaments. The best way to improve joint health is to ensure the rest of the musculoskeletal system is also stable and resilient.
When you’re visiting the doctor looking for joint pain relief, the first step is to diagnose and treat the condition responsible for the pain. This could be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, strains or other injuries, and so on. If you know you’ve injured yourself in some way, or your joint pain is accompanied by redness, swelling, or tenderness, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can find some relief by taking over-the-counter pain medicines, icing the joint a few times every day, or apply a heating pad to increase circulation.
While properly managing and treating painful joints can be effective, you should also take steps to protect your joints as you age to avoid debilitating pain in the first place. Here are five tips to make sure you’re keeping your joints as healthy as possible:
At Copeland Community Center in Dowling Park, members of Advent Christian Village have access to personalized health and fitness programs from a highly trained staff. Plus, you can swim laps in the indoor pool, join in a water volleyball game, or reach your strength-training goals on state-of-the-art Keiser air pneumatic exercise equipment. Contact us to schedule a tour or to request more information.