Aching joints can affect anyone. A joint is defined as the junction of two bones. While joint structures are designed to be weight-bearing and to allow movement, such activities also result in wear and tear. The correct name for joint pain is arthralgia. Although the condition may be more common in those who are older, aching joints affect people of all ages. Joint pain may be due to disease, wear and tear, wounds or trauma.
Joint pain varies, it may be present only when undergoing specific movements or conversely only when at rest. Medical attention is indicated if the pain is severe or if there is swelling, deformity or discoloration. Numbness or tingling and/or fever and excessive weight loss are other indications that a medical consultation should be sought.
Inactivity and continual rest may not lessen joint pain. If you are young and experiencing joint pain, it might be time to re-evaluate your lifestyle. Before starting any new health regime, first get the all clear from your doctor. If you’ve been relatively inactive for some time, start with easy steps. Applying heat and massage to stiff joints may help. Start becoming more active by practicing some simple stretching exercises.
These can be performed whatever your age. After a few weeks and after checking with your doctor, start an easy exercise program. Walk to the corner of your street and back to start with then extend your walk further. Swimming is a particularly good exercise as it is gentle on painful joints.
Aches and pains may be the result of carrying too much weight. If you are heavier than you should be, cut down the calories you eat each day. Again start with small steps. Reduce your calorie intake by perhaps 250 to 550 calories a day. Once you are comfortable with that, cut down by the same amount again. Learn to like foods that have fewer calories. Have smaller portions then what you would normally take.
There are alternatives to taking pain-killers. Massage, acupuncture and acupressure could all be beneficial. Reflexology, herbal supplements and chiropractic are other well documented alternatives that are helpful to many. One way to treat joint pain is by using ice. Apply an ice-pack every hour for 15 minutes then extend the period between applications. Don’t apply ice directly to the skin as it could result in burning. Wrap ice cubes in a towel first.
Hydrotherapy is also useful. By adding essential oils such as rosemary or eucalyptus, a relaxing and therapeutic bath will help relief aches and pains. Massaging with a menthol rub or essential oils may also promote relief. Always massage towards the heart. Anti-inflammatory drugs will relieve joint pain and muscle soreness and relaxants will soothe muscle spasms. Your doctor can prescribe these for you.
Natural therapies may be tried. Equal parts of honey and apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water and taken twice a day may be found to be beneficial. Low impact exercise such as swimming, bike-riding or walking is all worthwhile. The painful area can be immobilized with splints or braces. TENS (trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines can be used at home in accordance with instructions given by a health professional. One of these methods is sure to help relieve aching joints.
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