No matter what age we are we can all suffer from joint pain. It may be due to an injury, a loss of cartilage, repetition of physical activity, a lack of exercise, or the onset of arthritis. Whatever the cause, joint pain can be annoying and a real hindrance to day to day life. This article is going to be covering 7 ways to relieve aching joints so you can get on with your life pain-free.
Especially beneficial if you’ve just done an injury. The sooner you get ice on the affected area the better. If swelling can be kept to a minimum, the joint will suffer far less stiffness and the healing process will be that much more rapid. The cold temperature of ice slows the blood flow to the injury, and this is what reduces the swelling of damaged tissues. In the first instance ice should be kept on the injury for at least an hour, with the process repeated throughout the day and again the following day. Use some sort of cloth to place over the skin before applying the ice to avoid ice burns.
Support Bandages and Braces
It depends on the area of the body that is suffering the pain whether these can be utilised or not. If you have a sore hip or shoulder or ribs it can be very difficult to find support from a bandage, and virtually impossible to attach any sort of support brace. If it’s a knee, an ankle, a wrist or elbow then a support brace can be very effective. There are some types that immobilise a joint for healing purposes, while others are made of neoprene with Velcro straps. The latter are great for supporting the joint whilst being active, helping to prevent further injury and giving you a sense of security and peace of mind.
Massage does the opposite to ice therapy, as in it helps to promote blood flow to the affected region of the body. Not all joint problems are injuries. Often times aching joints are the result of the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, whether from arthritis growths, or just natural wear-and-tear. Massage is just as beneficial whether the pain is a result of injury or otherwise. The massage doesn’t have to be performed by a professional. If the problem is located in an area you can reach, then you can perform a regular massage routine yourself, or have someone else in the household do it for you. The added blood flow to the joint will send vital nutrients to the area to aid healing and relieve pain. For more serious problems, it would be best to seek the services of a trained physio therapist.
Nourishment for the Joints
It is also possible to eat your way to healthier, more pain-free joints. Certain foods contain nutrients that are beneficial in the growth and maintenance of joint cartilage and tissues, and also aid in the production of synovial fluid (the substance that lubricates the joints). Here is a list of some foods that are good for healthy joints:
- Olive Oil
- Milk & Dairy Products
- Green Vegetables
- Citrus Fruits
- Green Tea
- Garlic & Ginger
For joints to remain healthy and mobile they need exercise. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce the onset of arthritis. Even injured joints will often benefit from some light, low-impact exercises and stretching. If carrying an injury it’s sometimes best to exercise in water, where there is movement resistance without jarring impact and load on the injured joint. For example, an injured knee can benefit from some simple bending and straightening of the leg. Sometimes it’s more about movement than actual exercise. Movement is important in the healing of joints, especially if there is cartilage damage. Movement of the joint tells the body that the joint is needed, therefore the body’s natural healing mechanism knows to produce cartilage rather than useless scar tissue.
Here are links to web pages that illustrate some good exercises for various joint injuries:
There are all sorts of medications out there for pain and inflammation; prescription, over-the-counter and natural remedies. If you are suffering from chronic joint pain then it would be best to seek medical advice from a GP or a specialist, as you may need to be prescribed a pain management program. Outside of that Ibuprofen is a good source of joint pain relief, as it is an anti-inflammatory as well as a pain killer.
Again there is a vast array of supplements, vitamins and natural potions available that aid in reducing joint pain, arthritis symptoms and just general joint health. A few of the good ones are:
It can be beneficial to take a combination of these supplements, especially when recovering from a joint injury. Combined with light exercise and movement, supplements (along with a good diet) will certainly speed up the healing process.