Joint pain affects millions of people every day and can be caused by a myriad of reasons. It can affect any joint in your body, from your knee to your elbow, your hip to your big toe and with discomfort and pain ranging from mild to chronic, joint pain is a horrible ailment to experience.
Joints are the connections between our bones and structure our skeleton, allowing it to move. They’re made up of cartilage, ligaments, tendons, fluids and tissues.
Joint pain can be isolated to one specific joint, the area surrounding the joint or multiple joints (such as your fingers or toes), symptoms can include;
- Difficulty with movement
- Loss of movement range
- Stiffness or tightness
- Swelling and tenderness
- Inflammatory heat or redness
- Numbness or tingling
Some people experience acute joint pain which is the bodies biologic response to something harmful or irritating. Although still painful, acute joint pain is your bodies way trying to heal itself.
Chronic joint pain is generally associated with chronic inflammation which is the immune system unfocused and attacking itself.
The leading causes of joint pain are; injury, overuse, infection, and rheumatic conditions.
Kirsty Strowger, Director of Australia’s leading online distributor of Organic Turmeric products, Turmeric Australia says “Joint pain caused by injury is often acute pain, meaning it comes on quite quickly and doesn’t last for too long. Sprains and strains are a typical example of injuries that cause joint pain, they usually affect the elbows, knees, shoulders and ankles and these are the main areas that effect most of our customers”.
Overuse of joints, such as the rotator cuff in your shoulder or sacroiliac joint in your pelvis can cause both acute and chronic pain. You may experience a dull, numb throbbing or a sharp, hot pain depending on the joint and the severity of the overuse.
Some autoimmune and infectious illness can cause joint pain such as Lyme disease, some strains of influenza, psoriasis and rubella. This response is caused by your body trying to fight the infection and often results in joint inflammation, numbness or tingling, swelling, heat and redness around the joints.
Rheumatic conditions such as arthritis, osteo, lupus and gout, affect not only the joints but also the surrounding structure of muscles and bones. Rheumatic joint pain is very common in hands, knees and hips and is due to a breakdown in the cartilage and a build-up of fluids, resulting in chronic inflammation. Rheumatic joint pain often presents as stiffness, reduced mobility and a grinding feeling of the joints.
There are countless treatments for joint pain depending on the cause of your joint pain, the level of the problem and if it is an acute pain or chronic pain.
Resting, protecting and icing the joint works well for injury-related and acute joint pain, you can also compress it and keep it elevated to reduce swelling. Over the counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may also help.
In cases of chronic joint pain, the treatment methods may include; prescription medications, procedures to remove excess fluids or infections and joint replacement surgeries.
“With the rise in natural remedies, alternative therapies and eating-for-health diets, there are alternatives to the over-the-counter and prescription medications” say’s Ms Strowger, “There are a number of foods and supplements that have scientifically shown to reduce inflammation associated with joint pain in both acute and chronic cases.”
Making small lifestyle changes like incorporating stretching and low impact exercise such as; yoga, aqua aerobics, tai chi or lawn bowls, into your daily routine may reduce joint pain.
Acupuncture, massage and weight loss have shown to aid in joint pain recovery and may help lower pressure and strain on joints.
Adapting your diet to include foods rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties such as;
- Olive Oil
- Fruit – Strawberries, Blueberries, Oranges
- Nuts – Almonds, Walnut
- Leafy Greens – Spinach, Kale
- Fatty Fish – Salmon, Tuna, Sardines
- Whole Grains – Brown Rice, Quinoa
- Herbs & Spices – Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cloves
And with more studies being conducted on natural supplements that reduce inflammation and joint pain, more medical professionals are recommending them as an alternative to over-the-counter and prescription medications. The three natural supplements that have the most scientific significance in reducing inflammation and relieving joint pain are;
Ms Strowger explained that “as we get older, some form of joint pain is inevitable, consider it general wear and tear as our bodies carry us through life. By making small adjustments to our lifestyle, foods we eat and the supplements we take, we can significantly lower the risk of coursing joint pain and reduce the effects of chronic joint pain.”
If you are suffering from joint inflammation, you can find out more about natural anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric here. https://turmericaustralia.com.au/joint-pain/
Please note: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results may vary.
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.