The connections between your bones are called joints. Damage to joints due to injury or disease can obstruct movement and cause much pain. Anyone can experience joint pain but as you get older it becomes more common.
Some of the conditions that cause joint pain are sprains, bursitis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other strains or injuries. Injuries to ligaments, tendons or bursae around the joint can also bring on discomfort.
How You Contribute To Joint Pain
Even though you are not aware of it, you sometimes contribute to your joint pain.
For example the shoes you select can affect your feet, ankles and knees. Many people choose to wear flip flops or sandals in the summer. Flip flops and some sandals do not have arch support and they are not meant for walking in for long periods of time.
Women want to be fashionable but can do major damage to their joints if they continually wear shoes without proper support. If you plan to do a lot of walking it is best to wear sneakers or a good walking shoe.
These days video games and cell phones are popular. These two items put much wear and tear on the hands, especially the thumbs. Texting and maneuvering game controls often leads to sore thumbs. Many of the new game systems on the market are interactive and just like playing a sport outdoors, you can sustain an injury playing an interactive sports game.
How do you sit or lie down? When you are driving, is your seat reclined or upright? Carrying items like cases or bookbags on your shoulder or back can lead to shoulder and back pain. Most people don’t stop to think when they lift something heavy. Do not just bend down and pick it up.
Reducing Joint Discomfort
Here are some of the things you should be mindful of to reduce joint discomfort:
1. When playing video games, take frequent breaks. It’s not a good habit to play all day. You should warm up and stretch the same as you would before a game when playing an interactive video game.
2. When you are sitting at work, make sure that your chair is adjusted so that your feet are flat on the floor. Do not bend your wrists sharply up or down to type. Try to use a split or raised keyboard which will elevate your wrists.
3. Find alternate ways to tote school book or work items. Use rolling suitcases or bookbags.
4. When picking up heavy objects, bend your knees and hips into a squatting position first, keeping your back upright. Then lift the item using your leg muscles by straightening up your hips and knees.
5. While driving, your seat should be in an upright position supporting your head and lower back. The steering wheel should be easy to reach and your arms should be relaxed.
6. Before doing any type of exercise you should warm up and stretch.
7. If you are relaxing and watching television, be careful how your neck is turned. It is a good idea to sit up while watching television. The way you sleep can cause soreness in the morning. Sleeping on your back or side can prevent strain on the neck.
8. If you spend most days at a desk or on a computer, be sure the workstation is ergonomically correct. Your computer monitor should be at least 20 to 40 inches from your face, not up too high or low, but right in front of you.
1. Try using ice on the affected area for about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to put a towel or cloth between the ice pack and your skin. Do not use ice on an area where there are open sores or cuts. If you have problems with circulation do not use ice. You can also try using heat a few days after you have experienced an injury.
2. Use a topical rub that contains capsaicin which comes from red hot peppers. Put this on after the ice pack but wait until your skin has returned to its normal temperature.
3. A physical therapist can give you suggestions on exercises to strengthen muscles and how to warm up and cool down.
4. Try wearing a brace in areas like knees, or hands while doing certain activities.
5. The first inclination when you are in pain is to restrict movement, but move as much as possible to help the joints from becoming stiff.
6. Massage therapy is a good option for joint pain. Trigger point massages help with things like bursitis, carpel tunnel, tennis elbow and back pain. A skilled massage therapist can locate and treat these problem areas or alternatively low cost electronic massagers like this one can be used in the comfort of your own home.
7. Ibupofren or aspirin can provide relief for moderate to severe joint pain, especially when the joints are inflamed. Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants.
It is always good to try and prevent these conditions, but joint pain is very common whether as a result of an injury, or as part of the aging process. Try incorporating some of these tips and talk to your doctor about other options for managing joint pain.