Over the years, your joints may have provided you with much-needed support to move, jump, and run. However, as we age, we may catch ourselves thinking the same thought: our joints simply aren’t what they used to be.
Perhaps you are struggling with an injury that makes motion painful or perhaps you are suffering from the age-related “wear and tear” of osteoarthritis. Whatever the case may be, one thing remains true: you cannot get around as well with aches and pains.
If joint pain is caused by an inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or seronegative spondyloarthropathy, systemic treatment is needed to stop inflammation that can lead to joint damage. For flare-ups, acute, or chronic pain, there are many things you can do to help decrease your symptoms.
Aging doesn’t have to hold you back from living your best life. Here are five ways to help reduce symptoms and get yourself some much-needed relief.
When you are in pain, the last thing you may want to do is get up and move, let alone exercise. However, staying active is actually a great way to relieve joint pain. It can decrease pain and stiffness, increase range of motion, and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Going on daily walks is a great way to keep moving. Start off walking to the end of your block and continue to gradually increase your distance and walking time. You can advance to walking on uneven surfaces such as grass or sand to challenge your proprioceptors and improve your balance and coordination.
💪Maintain a healthy weight:
Losing one pound of weight will relieve four pounds of pressure from your knees. So losing ten pounds of weight will remove forty pounds of pressure from your knees! Losing excess weight can relieve the added pressure extra weight places on your painful joints. An effective way to do this is to stick to low-impact exercises and a healthy diet. Low-impact exercises include walking, Yoga, Pilates, Barre, and functional strength training.
♨️❄️Use hot and cold therapy:
Apply heat or ice for short periods, in 20-minute increments, several times a day. As a general rule, use ice for acute injuries, pain, inflammation, and swelling. Use heat for muscle pain or stiffness. Consider a warm bath with Epsom Salt at least one time per week. Epsom Salt or Magnesium Sulfate, is made up of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. The benefits of bathing in Magnesium Sulfate include improved digestion, stress reduction, reduced pain and stiffness, relief of muscle aches or discomfort, relief of joint stiffness or soreness, and increased blood flow.
🧘Consider alternative treatments:
You may find some pain relief from trying yoga, meditation, massage, or tai chi. These treatments can be done at home and may help you decrease joint pain, increase mobility, and improve your quality of life. While they are considered generally safe for most people it is always a good idea to consult a health care professional first.
👨Work with a Physical or Occupational Therapist:
Physical Therapy: Physical Therapy may help ease symptoms, reduce the need for pain medication, and even delay or negate the need for surgery. Physical Therapy can enhance joint mobility, improve postural control, increase neuromuscular connections, build strength, and increase movement tolerance.
Occupational Therapy: The goal of Occupational Therapy for joint pain is to improve your quality of life. An Occupational Therapist will work with you to enhance your ability to perform your functional activities of daily life. Our Occupational Therapists work with you one-on-one to increase or preserve your mobility, teach you strategies to manage your pain, and show you adaptive tools and techniques to avoid further injury.
If you want to enjoy your life as fully as possible without being limited by joint aches and stiffness, visit our website to learn more about how F.I.T. PT can help you.