Mayo Health Care
How To Live With Joint Pain
No one I know enjoys joint pain. I guess as we get older we feel that chronic dull aching in the joints just "comes with the territory". This doesn't have to be so. There are some ways that you can manage your joint pain. You can have joint pain for many different reasons, a trauma to a specific area of the body, such as knee or elbow, a strain from lifting a heavy object, sleeping on a poor mattress, sitting slumped in a chair, or bad posture in general can cause joint pain. Perhaps you do some sort of repetitive movement every day, perhaps associated with your job, such as cashiering.
Any repetitive motion can exacerbate joint pain. Joint pain felt in the wrist due to repetitive motion is called carpal tunnel syndrome. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. The joint pain associated with arthritis affects millions of Americans. Osteoarthritis is known in the medical community as the "wear and tear" arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is generally caused by injury or occupation, excess weight and genetics. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage of a joint to wear away. Rheumatoid arthritis is aggressive and causes joint damage and joint deformity. Fibromyalgia is a condition where people experience body aches and pains, extreme fatigue, depression and sleep problems. Fibromyalgia suffers may also have tenderness in specific muscles on the body. There are some ways to help alleviate your joint pain. The first is to listen to your body and be aware of what causes you pain, and avoid those activities. Do not remain in one position for a long period of time, this causes stiffness. If you can sit to perform a task it is better than standing. Sitting helps take weight off your hips and knees.
If you have pain in the fingers or hands try to avoid activities where you grip your fingers and avoid twisting or squeezing with your hands. If applicable to your condition use an orthopedic support. Supports are available for most areas of the body, ankle, arm, elbow, knee, back, wrist. Heat and ice applied to joints can help alleviate pain. A program of regular stretching exercises would help joint pain. Mild exercise is good for joint pain as it helps prevent muscle atrophy around the joint. It would be best to learn these from a licensed physical therapist. A physical therapist can also help you to learn proper body mechanics when sitting, standing, or stooping which can help relieve joint pain.
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