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Joint Pain – what you need to know

Joints are where our body and bones meet. The joints allow bones of the skeleton to move. The major joints in our body are:

  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Elbows
  • Knees

Typically, when we feel joint pain, we will experience discomfort, aches and soreness. One in three adults experience joint pain now. However, there are many causes of joint pain and it is important that you can identify the cause of your joint pain so that you can find the appropriate remedy for it.

The most commonly seen causes of joint pain are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is the breakdown of cartilage that serves as cushion or shock absorber for your joints, whereas RA can deform and dehabilitate joints over time, whereby you may feel pain, inflammation and fluid buildup as the body’s immune system attacks the membranes that line the joints. In other words, RA is a type of autoimmune disorder, whereby the body attacks healthy cells by mistake by sending a wrong signal to the brain.

Other common causes of joint pain we see are:

  • Bursitis (inflammation of cushion pads around joints)
  • Lupus
  • Gout
  • Chondromalacia patellae (breakdown of cartilage in kneecap)
  • Injury
  • Tendinitis (tendon inflammation)
  • Inflammation of bone or joint
  • Overuse of joint
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoporosis

Can you see a pattern here? A lot of these causes are either due to exercise / overuse of the joint, or autoimmune disease.

Right now, when you go and see a doctor about joint pain, they will typically give you a physical examination, followed by some pain / anti-inflammatory medication. If they suspect an autoimmune disorder, further tests may be taken to confirm the diagnosis. If the condition is severe, they may use injections or stronger medication. In some cases like chondromalacia patellae, surgeries are sometimes recommended.

I believe that these options are not sustainable, and should not be taken unless there really are no other choices. Very strong pain and inflammation medication can have severe side effects to the body, and overreliance can also lead to opioid addiction.

Here are a few home treatments / alternative treatments for you to consider. Whether you are a regular runner or an aging person with deteriorating joints, you should look into these more sustainable treatments for your joints.

  • Topical pain relief and anti-inflammatory products (absorb directly through skin is fast and effective)
  • Acupuncture
  • Stay active, and build (moderate) exercise into your life
  • Always stretch before and after exercising to “lubricate” the joints
  • Maintain a healthy body weight which means less stress for your joints

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