Joint pain is one of the problems that men and women over the age of 50 most often consult their doctors about, especially in Europe and the United States. According to several studies, up to 30 percent of the world’s population suffers from a problem that causes joint pain on a regular basis.
For many centuries, different cultures have used all kinds of remedies to relieve joint pain, such as herbal teas, hot baths, acupuncture and massage.
However, remedies alone are not enough. Sometimes it is also necessary to change behaviors or habits that contribute to joint pain. We will give you some useful advice if you suffer from this problem.
Learn to relax and reduce your stress
Stress is directly associated with the development of joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, it is necessary that from the age of 30 onwards you review your stress level and adopt relaxation practices.
Studies by the American College of Rheumatology found that people who practice yoga and relaxation techniques tend to have less joint pain, since their level of stress is much lower than that of other people.
Relaxation also helps improve the duration and quality of sleep, allowing the body to better regenerate its tissues during the night. Another valuable resource for reducing joint pain is massage, as long as it is done by a trained person.
Massages help restore flexibility and function to the joints and increase blood circulation. This allows for the regeneration of worn or injured tissues, as well as replenishing the fluid that acts as a lubricant in the joint capsules.
Improve your diet
A balanced diet will help you reduce or prevent joint pain. Acid-filled foods such as tomatoes, spinach and red meat are harmful if consumed in excess, as they raise uric acid levels and promote calcification of the joints.
If you suffer from pain, eliminate these elements from your daily diet and reduce the consumption of seafood, coffee and sugar. Conversely, increase your intake of garlic, celery and onion, as well as vegetable-based broths and nuts.
Some studies recommend taking certain infusions, such as those based on ginger, as they reduce inflammation and improve joint function. Green tea also appears to have anti-inflammatory effects, especially in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Exercise and control your weight
Joints are strong structures that, like muscles, need exercise to stay healthy and maintain full mobility. Sedentary lifestyles aggravate joint pain, while sport will help you relieve and even progressively eliminate it.
It is also important to control your weight, especially if your knees and ankles hurt. Being overweight increases exponentially the possibility of suffering injuries in the joints of the lower limbs.
It is worth noting that another cause of joint pain is poor posture when walking or sitting, as this causes greater stress in certain areas such as the knees and ankles. When sitting, the ideal position is with the back straight, with the feet supported on the floor and without crossing the legs.
The way you lift heavy objects should also be checked. Ideally, you should bend your knees and keep your back straight when you lift something off the floor and apply force only to your legs.
Knuckle cracking of hands and feet is a harmful practice that can wear down cartilage and cause loss of lubricating fluid in the joint capsule. Another useful tip for relieving joint pain is to apply warm compresses or hot water bottles to the affected area, especially in the morning.
Hot water baths with sea salt or magnesium salts are very beneficial as well. Only use cold compresses on your joints if you suffer from pain caused by injuries and inflammation.