Whether it’s back pain, aching knees, or crunchy wrists or ankles, most adults have experienced some kind of joint pain throughout their lifespan. There are several different types of joint pain and many different causes. Treatment of pain should always depend on the cause!
Where younger people tend to suffer from overuse and inflammation due to sports or activity, many older folks can suffer from autoimmune joint destruction or simply the effects of chronic wear and tear due to impact over the years. The important thing to remember is that maintaining the health of your joints is crucial – regardless of your age or life stage!
Keeping your muscles strong and your joints moving will keep you active, healthy and happy. Here are some general tips to keep your joints healthy and prevent pain from getting worse.
If your pain is brand new, acutely irritated or more than a 6-7/10 (where 10 is the worst pain ever) you should probably take a day or two off from activities.
Alternating hot and cold packs can help stimulate blood flow to the affected area. Use hot for 10minutes, cold for 5minutes, repeat 2-3 times. Finish with cold. You can do this for larger areas like your back by having contrast showers. 1 minute hot water with 30s cold water blast, alternating 5-10 times can increase circulation.
If you’re a runner with knee, hip or ankle pain, consider water-running while your injury heals. Water running can help you maintain your range of motion while taking the impact out of the exercise.
Consume Anti-inflammatory Foods
By now you’ve probably heard that turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory spice that can easily be added to meals as a seasoning. Pineapples contain bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme found in high therapeutic doses in Genuine Health’s fast arthritis pain relief+.
Keeping the muscles around the joint strong is extremely important to prevent further degeneration or damage to the joint. If you find you are unable to strengthen your muscles without causing pain, consult with an athletic therapist or practitioner that can help you address your muscle weakness in a pain-free way. You can also improve the structure of your joints and cartilage by taking Natural Eggshell Membrane, a nutrient rich, key ingredient found in Genuine Health’s arthritis pain relief and joint care products.
Resolve Workspace Difficulties
If you work at a desk job, it’s important to have an ergonomic assessment of your work station, to make sure the place you spend 8+ hours a day is set up to support your health. Most workplaces will have coverage for health and safety assessments. Ask your manager or HR department.
Continue to Move
Many people get caught in a pain trap, where it’s too painful to exercise, they gain weight, the pain is even worse, and on it goes. Staying active in a way that is gentler and less painful and lower impact like swimming or cycling can help you maintain your fitness level while your pain is being treated.
Try these tips for natural pain and mobility management and to maintain the health of your joints! If your pain doesn’t improve, it may be necessary for you to seek additional treatment. A physiotherapist, naturopathic doctor or chiropractor can guide you through dietary recommendations and healing therapies that can help you achieve a pain-free lifestyle.
Dr. Briana Botsford is a Naturopathic Doctor in Edmonton, Alberta. She is a primary care provider and treats conditions from the common cold to women’s health and fertility. As an Ironman Triathlete, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Yoga Teacher, she integrates her in-depth understanding of movement, exercise and the mind-body connection into her writing and patient care.