[Written by Peter Nielsen].
Joint pain can have a debilitating effect on your everyday life. Whether it appears as a discomfort when touched, swelling or inflammation of an area, or limited movement, there are several possible causes. Extended discomfort should be seen by a doctor. If you already know what causes your joint pain, you may have a standard treatment you use. The most common causes of joint pain are:
- Injuries such as broken bones, sprains and strains can all cause pain in the affected joint which can bother you long after the injury has healed. Stress caused by overuse may lead to joint pain. For instance, excessive force on the knee, overuse, or injury, may lead to degeneration of the cartilage beneath the kneecap, a condition that commonly causes joint pain in adolescents and young adults. Careful attention to safety when participating in sports or a fitness regimen is the best preventative measure against sports-related injuries that lead to joint pain.
- Up to 22 million Americans have autoimmune disorders. Nearly 80% of them are women — many in their childbearing years, and the numbers are growing. Severe autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues in your body. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive, inflammatory disease that attacks the joints, while lupus is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the joints, kidneys, blood cells, skin, lungs and heart — both may cause severe joint pain. An anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the discomfort and flare-ups caused by this disease.
- Arthritis causes progressive, chronic joint pain. The most common form is osteoarthritis, which causes pain in the joints of the hips, knees, hands or spine. Septic arthritis is an infection that has spread from another location of the body to one joint, causing severe pain. Gout is a type of arthritis that causes severe attacks of pain in the joints–usually in the big toe. A heathy diet and exercise will help maintain joint health.
- Bursitis is characterized by swelling of fluid-filled sacs, called bursae, found between tendons and skin or bone. It can cause acute or chronic pain in the joints, especially with movement.
Autoimmune disease, arthritis, buristis and gout all have shown to be alleviated by anti-inflamatory diets. Try colorful fruits and vegetables, such as berries, leafy greens and broccoli, for rich amounts of antioxidants to promote strong immune system function, and fiber and water, which support appetite control. Vitamin C, prevalent in bell peppers, citrus fruits and tomatoes, may enhance tissue repair and healing from bursitis. Additional sources of fiber and glucose — your body’s main dietary source of energy, include oatmeal, whole-grain breads, brown rice and legumes. Although research is limited, switching from a meat-rich diet to a plant-based diet may improve symptoms of gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Cold-water fish, such as salmon, herring, halibut and mackerel; flaxseed; walnuts; and canola oil contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation.
Joint pain can seriously hamper your ability to enjoy all life has to offer, there are many options, eat healthy, stay active and see your doctor if the pain persists!
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