According to experts from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (2), joint pain is a common topic of consultation. Why? Almost everyone, at some point in their lives, has discomfort in one or more joints. Causes vary, but the pain in one or multiple joints is a reality! Let’s delve a little de further into the subject.
What exactly is joint pain?
Regardless of its cause, joint pain affects the joints of different parts of the body. It is common to appear in areas such as your toes and toes, wrist, knee, hip, shoulder, and more. It can be accompanied by stiffness, tenderness and inflammation. And, depending on the condition, it occurs in a variety of ways.
What are the main kinds of joint pain?
Regardless of certain diseases or injuries that can cause joint pain, two kinds of joint pain can be discussed: arthralgia and arthritis. Arthralgia is joint pain, spontaneous or caused, that does not involve inflammation or impede functioning (3). It can be caused, among other things, by lack of use or overuse. Arthritis consists of joint pain that limits the spontaneous and independent movement of a joint; that usually causes stiffness. Such pain may be accompanied by swelling in the affected area and redness and high temperature in the area (4). There are several types of arthritis and causes of pain: wear, infections and underlying diseases.
Rafael Arriaza LouredaTraumatologist at Santa Teresa Hospital, A Coruña
“It seems sensible to be confident that some of the new therapies, either based on intraarticularly injectable hyaluronic acid or hydrolyzed chondroitin or hydrolyzed gelatin (collagen-based), can prevent or delay joint damage caused by sports injuries.”
What causes joint pain?
Sometimes exercise can cause joint injuries from training errors. Here, the damage to the cartilage exceeds its repair capacity (5). This can be prevented by avoiding overuse of the joint. Other times, minimal physical activity triggers an injury due to malnutrition and aging, among others. Also, certain diseases such as lupus, arthritis and osteoarthritis, bursitis (inflammation of the dried pose, which is the bag of fluid that prevents the rubbing of bones), patellar chondromalacia (degenerative injury affecting the cartilage of the joint surface of the patella, in the knee), gout, among others, can cause severe joint pain.
How can joint pain be prevented?
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Prevention better than regret.” However, how many do we put into practice? When it comes to our joints, it’s worth taking it seriously. Everyone, at best, will become older adults! This means that we must start thinking about how to take care of ourselves and prevent possible ailments from now on.
Besides raising awareness of the importance of having a healthy and balanced diet (including proteins such as fish, dairy, fruits and vegetables), it is essential to include healthy living habits in our agendas. For this reason, regular and progressive exercise – in terms of time and effort – must become our ally.
But while exercise can help protect our joints, it can also be the trigger for various injuries. For this reason, when choosing the sport or activity that we are going to carry out, it is essential to consider factors such as age, body mass, health status, among others. And let’s never hide information from the sports instructor!
What are the most recommended supplements to combat joint pain?
The variety of supplements that flood the market is growing. Many experts often recommend supplements based on hydrolyzed collagen type II (which is present in joint cartilage). They can prevent or delay, for example, joint damage caused by sports injuries (6). And when it comes to joint pain caused or associated with different diseases, the most commonly studied supplements to combat joint pain are: Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Sulfate, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Curcumin, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (such as Omega 3), among others (7).
Which people are most likely to experience joint pain?
The older you get, the more likely you are to have joint pains. Older people are, for example, more likely to experience knee pain; it still happens with those who are overweight. And young people or adults who perform extreme or high-performance sports are also at risk of joint pain from an injury, wear or overload. Also, an unhealthy lifestyle (characterized by malnutrition or inadequate eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, among others) can become, in one way or another, a risk factor that, in the medium to long term, will increase the chances of disease, injury, discomfort and joint pain.
Tips for treating joint pain
The first thing to do when you start having joint pains is to go to the doctor and follow all your recommendations! In addition to this, it is also advisable to inform yourself thoroughly and know certain guidelines that can help us feel better. Here are some tips we hope will be of great use to you.
See your family doctor.
We cannot deny that our GP, even if he is not a specialist in rheumatology or traumatology, is the one who knows our medical history best. For this reason, it is highly recommended that, in the face of the appearance of any joint pain, we always go to our GP in the first instance. He may refer us to the appropriate specialist.
Your family doctor keeps track of all your medical centre visits, the illnesses you suffer, and the frequent or sudden discomfort you’ve faced. To avoid targeting physical therapists or chirosomesajists at the onset of certain joint pain. Better to be patient, wait for a certain diagnosis and timely treatment.
Eat foods rich in vitamin C
As has been published on other occasions, the well-known vitamin C – or ascorbic acid – has wonderful properties that cannot be overlooked. For example, it reinforces the beneficial effects of other compounds and supplements, collagen, and so many other elements for which formation or assimilation are needed.
Move on to jelly!
In addition to being a common and inexpensive food, Gelatin can become your ally when it comes to consuming it often with your health in your own way. However, make it tasteless and sugar-free! In gastronomy, there are all kinds of recipes and varied ways to prepare gelatin to provide collagen – even in small amounts.
Include a supplement in your diet
As you may have noticed, more and more supplements are available on the market that promise to alleviate or combat various physical discomforts. However, we must take as much care as possible on the issue of health and always advise ourselves from experts when thinking about acquiring a vitamin or food supplement.
Throughout this article, we have told you about various supplements that could help you treat joint pain. Consider, first of all, your doctor or specialist’s recommendations and then consider supplementing your diet with a supplement that provides you with vitamins or minerals important to improve your health.
Exercising regularly, progressively, and without excesses (effort and time), sleeping the minimum recommended time for your age, maintaining a balanced diet (rich in fish, fruits, vegetables, cereals and legumes) and choosing a suitable vitamin or food supplement are some of the best ways to take care of yourself and prevent joint pains.
However, if you have a disease or have suffered any injuries that cause pain or discomfort in your joints, you must follow all the recommendations of your family doctor or specialist. Ask if you want to rest or exercise. And don’t forget to take painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs that have been prescribed to you at exact times!