Joint pain is caused by a range of potential illnesses and injuries — or even changes in your body as you age. While joint pain is often associated with older individuals, it can impact people of any age, including children. It can range from mildly irritating to debilitating, but is often manageable via medications, physical therapy and alternative medications.
In the fitness world, there are a lot of celebs and workout pros on social media, making their hardcore workouts seems effortless. What a lot of these people don't show is the after-effects of the workout. Regardless of what's shown to the world on Instagram, muscle pain and soreness affect almost everyone engaged in moderate exercise.
Joint pain often indicates damage, inflammation or disease at the specific site, but it’s also a symptom of chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia.
Issues that lead to joint pain are very prevalent in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 22.7 percent of American adults were diagnosed with fibromyalgia, lupus, gout or arthritis between 2013 and 2015, and the CDC expects 26 percent of all adults in the U.S. to have a diagnosis of arthritis by 2040.
With so many possible reasons for joint pain, it’s hard to define specific risk factors. Most people do become more susceptible to these issues as they age. Genetics can put you at greater risk for conditions such as systemic lupus erythematous and ankylosing spondylitis, both of which can cause joint pain. The CDC also notes that gender plays some role; women are slightly more at risk for arthritis while men are more at risk for gout.
While joint pain isn’t typically an emergency and can be managed at home — especially if you have a diagnosis associated with this type of pain and expect it as a symptom — sometimes you need more extensive treatment.
If your pain is accompanied by warmth, tenderness, swelling or redness at the joint, then call your healthcare provider to make an appointment. If your pain is so bad you can’t move the joint at all, you notice sudden, marked swelling or the joint looks deformed, then consider seeking emergency medical attention.
Your medical provider might prescribe medications or physical therapy to help treat your joint pain, but there are also steps you can take at home.
Always discuss home and alternative remedies you explore with your doctor to ensure they won’t have any negative consequences on other conditions.
Joint pain is a reality for many Americans of all ages, but you don’t have to face it daily without taking action. Talk to your healthcare provider about what joint pain means for you, and take actions at home to prevent flare-ups.
Oral pain medications are not always the best solutions for pain management
Men’s Health reports that a survey from the US Pain Foundation that more than 90 percent of Americans use over-the-counter (OTC) oral medications to manage pain. The problem with and the danger from these pain relievers is that they’re so convenient that we tend to reach for them for any kind of pain instead of reserving them for situations where they’ll do the most good.
There are better ways than stretching to manage pain from muscle soreness
Evidence suggests that stretching offers little or no relief for muscle pain. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviewed 12 studies, concluding that stretching, whether conducted before, after, or before and after exercise, does not produce clinically important reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness in healthy adults. Another study by USA Track & Field concluded that stretching offers no protection from injury to runners during routine training, either.
7 tips to manage pain before exercise
Sore muscles are good. They’re a sign of improvement; that you’ve pushed yourself physically — and mentally. It can also be a false roadblock.
However painful it may be, muscle soreness, typically shouldn’t prevent you from working out.