November 8, 2021

Living with Chronic Joint Pain

For anyone experiencing pain with every movement they make, life can be a handful. Especially if one continues to live like that without any proper diagnosis and physician’s recommendation to lead a better life.

Chronic joint pain can be a result of a bunch of things. Different medical conditions, accidents or just age, can be leading causes of this sort of pain. So, what do you do when you feel your joints get a little rusty? You consult a physician.

To make things more clear, we’ll dive into the major causes of chronic joint pain, the different types of chronic pain one can suffer from and how you can live a healthier life to avoid aggravating this condition.

 

What is Chronic Joint Pain?

Joint pain can be anything from actual mind-numbing pain to soreness around the joints, swelling or any sort of discomfort. It’s basically anything that restricts your joints from functioning normally. This type of pain usually affects areas like the knees, shoulders, hips, elbows, wrists and hands.

By itself, the term is quite wide and includes multiple different types of chronic joint pain.

Chronic joint pain is not a single condition resulting from a particular disease. There could be multiple reasons as to why your joints are being weighed down or grinding without gear. Let’s explore some of the most common reasons for the condition.

 

Arthritis

Arthritis is a medical condition that leads to the inflammation and degeneration of the joints. The condition can lead to restrictions in movement, leading to pain everytime you indulge in physical activity.

Not one, two or three, there are even more sub-types of arthritis that can plague a patient, without any age restrictions or gender bias. In other words, even though the condition is more common in elders, it can affect any gender and age group.

For instance, chronic AC joint pain (Acromioclavicular Joint Pain) happens when the joint between the collarbone and acromion (part of the shoulder blade) gets inflamed. This is usually a result of an injury or trauma to the shoulder, very often during a cycling or skiing accident.

On the other hand, Chronic SI Joint Pain, also referred to as Sacroiliitis is the inflammation of one or both Sacroiliac joints where the spine and pelvis connect. This too can be caused by injury to the lower back. Neither of these two conditions are exclusive to a certain age group or a gender.

Keeping our basics in mind, let’s very briefly go through some common types of arthritis.

 

Osteoarthritis

Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), aka, Osteoarthritis is a common form of chronic joint condition caused due to inflammation or injury to the joint.

There are certain medical conditions that make one more susceptible to this type of joint degenerative disease.

Diabetes and Hyperlipidemia– Has an effect on the inflammatory response of the body.

Obesity– Effects the knees.

Decreased estrogen– Effects menopausal women.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This autoimmune disease directly affects the immune system, which begins tackling it’s own tissues. The condition can eventually lead to complete loss of mobility and starts with basic arthritis signs like fatigue, stiff muscles, swelling and inflammation.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid are two most commonly found types of arthritis. Other common types can be labelled as:

 

Psoriatic Arthritis

Causes pain, stiffness and swelling to the end joints of fingertips and toes.

Gout

High uric acid build up in the blood leads to severe burning joint pain in the big toe, ankle or knee.

Reactive Arthritis

Joint pain and swelling in the genitals, urinary tract or intestines.

Septic Arthritis

Affects single joints with bacterial or fungal infections.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Affects the joints joining spine with pelvis, the back and neck

Other Conditions That Can Cause Chronic Joint Pain

Other than Arthritis, there are some conditions that can lead to chronic joint pain. These include:

 

Injury or repeated trauma

Lupus

Cancer

Fibromyalgia

Hemarthrosis

Hypothyroidism

Lyme Disease

Depression

 

Things You Can Do to Improve Your Condition

If you or a closed one is suffering from any type of joint degeneration that is supposed to get worse over time, there are a few things you can do to stop it from getting too bad too quickly.

Apart from continuous medication, therapy or surgery, living a healthy lifestyle can greatly affect how long your body holds out against the condition. It’s smart to remember that there is no reversing this condition, the denegation of your joints is permanent. But you can, however, slow down the decline while also managing the pain.

 Here’s what you can do:

Short Rest Duration

Don’t opt for long durations of bed rest, unless directed by your physician.

When you stop using your joints over long periods and start again, that in itself, can be extremely daunting for your body.

Keep your body moving

A little bit of movement, light exercises, regular yoga sessions or a walk in the park with your dog. Opt for your choice of exercise to indulge in regularly. If you stop using your joints for movement, it’ll only quicken the degeneration of your joints and leave you immobile.

Don’t overstrain yourself

Joint pain isn’t just the result of chronic illnesses but also a consequence of overwhelming your body with any physical activity. Especially for patients of arthritis or lupus, maintaining the right balance of enough rest and just enough movement is important.

Maintain your body weight

Obese patients are much more prone to develop joint dysfunctions. The more your weight, the more stress will be on your joints. The idea is simply to maintain a healthy weight to reduce this pressure.

Do miscellaneous things to soothe your body.

Take a warm bath, stretch every now and then, especially before working out, and get enough rest. If you’re not suffering from arthritis or aren’t on any prescribed medication, get over the counter medications,  CBD products, balms and massagers to provide relief. If you are on prescribed medication and still want to get some of these supplements, check in with your physician to ensure the medications don’t negatively interact.

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