20 Tips for Joint Pain and Inflammation You Need To Try
I do not know about you, but I feel everyone who is middle aged has some ache in their neck or pain in their knees. My dad has a bad shoulder and my grandma cannot stand for more than 15 minutes without getting sore. In the clinics, I almost guarantee you will see at least one patient coming for a refill for their pain medication. I am only 27 and I want to make sure that I do not develop that kind of pain.
Having daily joint pain can hinder your quality of life. Those who have it know of the struggles to keep up with others while making sure they manage their pain. I feel for their struggle.
It is not fun at all.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, it is estimated, about 54 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
300,000 babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition.
With this many Americans afflicted with joint pain, people are looking for the answer to their pain relief. The most commonly used for pain is pharmaceutical drugs like NSAID's among others.
These are effective in reducing pain however their effects eventually go away. Also, I am sure no wants to take pills all day every day for pain.
Their side effects are well known, most commonly causing stomach bleeding, ulcers, and drug to drug interactions.
This is where I come in.
I want to help people with joint pain reducing their daily pain. I also want to help others like myself who do not want to experience future joint pain.
I believe that that the basis for reducing pain begins with diet and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle is the firm foundation that you build your health on. After doing this, use drugs for symptomatic pain relief rather than chronically taking them.
What causes joint pain?
Inflammation is the greatest balancing act our body does. If we have too much inflammation our bodies will be damaged. If we have too little, then our immune system does not work properly.
Forget a coach trying to keep a basketball lineup balanced with offense and defense, this is much more amazing.
Inflammation causes joint pain. Inflammation is a complicated process our body uses to react to stress, repair damaged cells, and repair itself. It is characterized by swelling, pain, redness, heat, and loss of function of the area affected.
The most common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis, which affects the large joints (back, knees, hip) of an estimated 31 million Americans.
Other types of cause of joint pain are rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, and lupus.
Too much inflammation puts our body in a chronic state of disease. Anyone who has allergies in during spring in Atlanta knows what I am talking about.
Inflammation is caused by our secreting too many inflammatory factors (bradykinin, IGF-1, plasmin) that signal our body to start inflammation. Once the process starts, it will not stop until whatever is causing the inflammation is removed. When the inflammation is going on you may fell pain, fatigue, and irritation.
Triggers can include pollen for allergies or standing too long for osteoarthritis.
The following list provides great tips on how to modify your diet and lifestyle to fight inflammation.
20 Tips for Joint Pain and Inflammation
Of the 7 grams of carbs, 6 grams are in the form of dietary fiber (which reduces systemic inflammation). Not to mention there are 3 grams of protein for every serving. The best part of chia seeds is that they contain omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids. These fats have been studied to reduce arthritic pain.
Fish like salmon and herring are rich in omega-3 oils as well. Along with joint pain, omega-3 fats have been shown to reduce risks for cardiovascular disease.
Avocados are abundant in the right kinds of fats. Polyunsaturated and omega-3 fats prevent inflammation, heart disease, and hyperlipidemia. They are one of the foods in this regard.
Raspberries contain flavonoid and quercetin that give it its color. It has vitamins C & K which fight inflammation and the development of cancer.
There are phenolic compounds that can provide the same anti-inflammatory action similar to ibuprofen. Olive oil is an excellent substitute for butter or lards when you are cooking.
Green Leafy Vegetables (Kale, Broccoli)
Greens are full of vitamins A & C, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals. Eating these foods in their raw forms allows you to get more of them.
They are full of omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats. Along with fighting inflammation, they help in facilitating the conversion of LDL (bad fat) into HDL (good fat).
Apples are full of fiber and antioxidants that both prevent inflammation. Eating apples raw is the best way to get these nutrients.
These berries have plenty of vitamins and antioxidants to fight cancer.
The substances in ginger (gingerol, shogaol) inhibit the formation of the factors, cytokines, and end products that cause inflammation. Ginger has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer.
The organosulfides in garlic contains sulfur compounds that our body uses to fight inflammation, infection, and cancer.
This is one of the oldest known remedies for inflammation.
Onions have fiber that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, especially in the gut. They also are an excellent source of protein, iron, and folic acid.
7 Other Tips
Alcohol prevents the micro-flora of our gut to function properly. We are unable to regulate inflammation and immunity. This will get worse the more chronically one consumes alcohol.
Sustained inflammation will start to damage organs and body parts including the liver, skin, and brain.
Avoid Red Meat
A Harvard study showed that those who ate red meat in their diet had an 18% increased risk of developing inflammation and the development of diverticulitis. Those who replaced it with fish or poultry saw their risk go down by 20%. Red meat is also a known carcinogen for the development of colorectal cancer.
Reduce Sugar Consumption
Too much sugar in the blood causes it to damage our blood vessels. That damage can lead to a chronic state of inflammation in those with uncontrolled diabetes.
Simple, refined sugars will spike our blood sugar the quickest. Avoidance of sugary drinks, snacks, and candy is critical. With this done the body can maintain a regular blood sugar level.
With joint pain, people will be inclined to rest and not move their affected joint. This is not good as the muscles and tendons around the joint will also get weaker. Now the body is more susceptible to injury.
Even it is walking or stretching, moving the joints is essential in managing the pain.
Physical therapy is about regaining and strengthening the movements of the body. Most health providers will recommend this, and it has been shown to be very useful in the long term.
Massaging is a safe and non-invasive treatment to combat joint pain. More research needs to be done to confirm the benefits. Therefore, it is a mild recommendation to reduce joint pain.
This is especially important for people with osteoarthritis. For every 1 pound of fat, it exerts 4 pounds of force on large joints like the knees and ankles. Removing this extra force will preserve the cartilage and fluid in the joints.
If you are 5 pounds overweight, you are exerting an additional 2,400 pounds of force on your joints for every mile you walk. Over the years, this can add up.
You have to save the best for last.
Smoking causes inflammation throughout the body, mainly in the blood vessels and lungs. Having your body in periods of inflammation can further exacerbate any joint pain.
There is another way to manage your joint pain besides taking medications. I believe that proper nutrition/diet, exercise, and a comprehensive plan with your health providers can fight inflammation can fight joint pain as well.
Try out some of these tips in the article in your life and see how you feel.
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