6 Different Causes of Joint Pain and Stiffness
As we get older, we start to feel stiffness in our joints. This pain occurs because of the accumulated stress from using our muscles, bones, and joints for movement. Most people will feel natural discomfort and stiffness from their joints over their lifetimes. However, many other factors contribute to joint pain and stiffness.
Joint pain is an uncomfortable condition that could persist for a long time. Mild symptoms may subside over time and flare up again on unanticipated occasions. In severe cases, joint pain and stiffness could significantly limit mobility, impairing your ability to perform physical activities. If you suffer from joint pain, it is best to consult a chiropractor for a long-term treatment plan.
Understanding what causes joint pain and stiffness can empower you to be proactive and reduce their symptoms. Below are six different causes of joint pain and stiffness.
Joint Pain Cause #1: Age
Our bodies reflect a timeline of wear and tear. As we age, our range of motion can get more restricted. We might eventually lose the flexibility in our joints. The cartilage between the bones can wear down, causing inflammation and leading to more chiropractic problems down the line.
You can help alleviate the effects of time by staying active with moderate exercise. Stretching will strengthen the joints tremendously. However, it’s never a good idea to jump into strenuous exercise, which can cause more harm than good. Just take it slow and work your way up to a robust routine. Perform gentle stretches that are age and ability appropriate.
Joint Pain Cause #2: Body Weight
Many health problems come with being overweight, including joint pain and stiffness all over your body. When the body is burdened with carrying extra weight, it places undue pressure and stress on your joints. In addition, the excess fat stored in your body might cause other chemical reactions and metabolic problems.
Try to stay within a normal BMI for your body type. Setting a weight goal isn’t necessarily the answer because you need to factor your height and skeletal structure into the equation. Your muscles and joints are designed perfectly for you as long as you don’t burden them with extra weight.
Joint Pain Cause #3: Diet
Besides overeating, the types of food you consume may lead to aching joints. What you eat will either help or hinder your health. A balanced diet with unprocessed food will allow your body to thrive.
Try to eat a varied mix of fresh vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality protein. Avoid consuming foods that cause inflammation, which might trigger conditions that affect the joints. Instead, introduce foods that reduce inflammation and burn fat into your diet. Plus, stay away from simple carbs and processed sugar as much as you can.
Join Pain Cause #4: Arthritis & Bursitis
Arthritis is a common affliction that forms over time. It is the leading cause of joint pain for our aging population. It isn’t necessarily a problem of the old either. Young individuals are also susceptible to the same health problems. Injury and overuse may cause chronic inflammation, giving you re-occurring bouts of swelling, stiffness and pain.
Arthritis significantly limits your range of movement when it flares up. Some common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Likewise, bursitis is when your bursa sacs swell and limit mobility around your joints. It is a temporary condition from overuse or injury. However, the symptoms can also become chronic. Both arthritis and bursitis will cause joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness. The breakdown of cartilage and the joint lining is what causes the discomfort.
Applying ice and heat is effective for soothing the affected joint. Anti-inflation medication will take away some of the pain and swelling too. Ultimately, one of the best ways to relieve joint pain and stiffness is through rest. Allow your body to take down the swelling to get you up and running again.
Joint Pain Cause #5: Tendonitis
Tendons are thick, fibrous connective tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. They can become irritated and inflamed by repetitive movement or injury. Inflammation causes muscle stiffness and joint pain in the affected area.
Tendonitis can last for a few days or even longer, depending on the severity. Excessive movement only worsens the condition. The best course of action is to rest the area. Get the appropriate treatment, including physiotherapy and pain relief medication.
Joint Pain Cause #6: Sleeping Position
How you sleep is just as important as how much you sleep. If you sleep in a position that misaligns your neck and spine, it can lead to joint pain. You might have woken up with a stiff neck or sore back. The underlying cause could be the way you slept.
Consider using extra pillows to your advantage. If you have lower back pain, sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees will take the pressure off. This sleeping position also maintains the natural curve of your spine. Don’t have a pillow that elevates your head too high when sleeping on your side. Try to keep your head and body level while putting your neck in a neutral position. A pillow between your legs will keep your hips from flexing as well.