Sore joints can occur for a number of reasons. These specialized areas of the body are what allow us free range of motion, and when they ache, they can really restrict your life. Dealing with this pain can require a doctor’s help or simply a lifestyle change, but the first thing you need to do is figure out why they hurt.
It’s usually fairly easy to figure out whether it is a joint that is hurting. Pain in the ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hips are easy to diagnose as being in the joint. However, it can be harder to tell if it is joint pain or something else causing back, neck, finger and toe pain, as these are smaller areas with smaller bones.
If you experience joint pain after exercising, then you may have an overuse injury. Prescribe yourself rest, alternating heat and cold packs, and gentle motion to prevent stiffness. If the pain has come on relatively suddenly, see your doctor if it doesn’t clear up in a few days. However, if you have been ignoring it for a while, it might take a while to resolve.
Certain causes of joint pain can be related to improper exercise . For instance, knee pain is common in bicyclists who allow their toes to point outwards too far. Shoving your hands in your pocket to keep warm while taking long walks can cause hip pain. Correcting your form can lead to pain-free exercising, which will help keep you fit.
Older people can develop osteoarthritis, and do so at relatively high rates. Dealing with this condition is largely a matter of treating the pain so that mobility is not too affected. Because being sedentary can actually worsen osteoarthritis, it is important that pain be managed enough that the patient can get up and move around on a regular basis. For most, walking is the best form of exercise.
Rheumatoid arthritis can strike at any age. It causes similar symptoms and problems as osteoarthritis, but is caused by an autoimmune disorder instead of wearing down of the joints caused by age. Osteoarthritis results from a lifetime of use wearing on the joints, while rheumatoid arthritis results from attacks by the body’s own immune system on those areas.
Because it is an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis can be treated in a number of ways that do not work on other types of arthritis. Prescription immunosuppressants such as steroids and certain chemotherapy drugs are used to dial back the immune system’s function enough so that it stops attacking itself. Other drugs are used to manage pain and other symptoms, as well.
If you experience sore joints and don’t know why, you can try a regimen of icing the affected area, heating, and rest. For cases that this does not resolve, get to your doctor to have it checked out. Often, there’s nothing seriously wrong, but your doctor can provide peace of mind. They can also offer advice on what might be causing the pain, what can be done to help alleviate it, and how to avoid making it recur again.
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