Joint pain can be of many kinds and for varied reasons. This is precisely why we need to determine what kind of pain it is so we can treat them with home remedies. As one gets older, they are more prone to joint pain in the knees, shoulders, hips or hands. If it keeps getting worse, you might have a condition known as “osteoarthritis”, which can cause pain to just 1 joint or multiple ones. If the pain is sporadic but is on a higher scale when it does come, you may be experiencing “Rheumatoid Arthritis”. Most commonly, joint pain is found in the knees because they take on the full weight of the body, a glaring engineering mistake in bipedal animals.
What can cause joint pain?
Most commonly, joint pain is caused by:
-Arthritis—osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
-Recent injury to knee, shoulder or hip muscles
-Damaged cartilage around the kneecap
While these are the most common causes, there are numerous more reasons ranging from viral fever to sarcoidosis (a rare condition that causes small patches of tissue to develop in organs). It is generally a good idea to observe if there are any additional symptoms or if it’s a sole problem of joint pains and consult a doctor immediately.
That said, if it’s a frequently occurring pain, there are some methods you can apply to relieve it.
1. Incorporate Anti-inflammatory Foods Into Your Diet:
Joint pain is caused by inflammation of the cushioning pads around the joints, which puts pressure. Changing your diet from foods that worsen this to foods that help you reduce the inflammation can be a very sustainable way to treat the pain. This means cutting out sugar, saturated and Trans fats (cheeses and refined oils), Gluten, processed carbohydrates, MSG, and alcohol. (potatoes, white rice, flour) and including green leafy vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, nuts, berries, and other fruits like cherries and oranges.
2. Cut Down or Change Your Exercise Routine:
Sometimes exercising can greatly exacerbate joint pain if you are not careful. It is advisable to stop doing heavy exercise routines during days of pain and definitely avoid leg exercises. Instead, you can opt to do water aerobics and swimming which is known to have much less strain on joints.
3. Keep Your Weight in Check:
On the other side of the coin, being overweight can often cause more undue stress on your knees and feet, causing joint pain. While it is bad to stress your joints with a heavy routine, it is equally bad to neglect exercise completely as they will atrophy the muscles. A good exercise routine combined with a healthy green diet done consistently will keep any issues you have in check.
4. Relief Herbs:
Ginger tea is very effective in reducing swelling and is also a great immunity booster. Aloe Vera is a known healing material and has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it will not make you feel bloated or give you a stomach bug which is a common side effect of anti-inflammatory drugs found in clinical medicine. Turmeric, Eucalyptus and Green tea are also great for reducing pain. Making a tea with all of these ingredients would ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
5. Topical Creams:
You can also go for a more topical method and search for creams, oils and gels that are made from the ingredients listed above so that it you can apply where the pain is. While consulting a doctor is always a good idea, having home remedies handy when it gets problematic is good. Ayurvedic medicine is a great alternative (or sometimes even complement) to prescribed medicine that might give you bad side effects.
6. RICE Method:
If there is a sudden spike in pain to the point of it being unbearable (as it often is in rheumarthiritis), a well-known method for relieving pain is RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Don’t put excessive strain on the joints that hurt. Use an icepack to bring swelling down and make sure you don’t sleep or put weight on the joint when it’s hurting. If the pain still persists, use a heat pack to relieve it.
7. Massage and Yoga:
Massaging the areas that are giving you trouble every day is very effective in gradually reducing it. You can use a gel or oil to massage into the area, or just gently apply pressure and relax the joints. Inculcating the habit of yoga will not only improve the health of your muscles and body, but also give you better mental health.
Joint pain is a very common phenomenon, but it does not have to be. Rather than letting it get to the point of expensive treatments like cortisol injections and surgery, simply managing your lifestyle in small ways will work wonders to ward off pain. Even if you are not an older person, it is beneficial to think of these methods as an investment for the future, older you to reap the benefits. Changing the outlook on these debilitating conditions will help us fight it harder and live our life happier and healthier.