It's about that time for some nice walks outside and get moving! Walking is an activity that helps with all injuries but it is especially helpful for joint pain which is this weeks topic. We need to protect our joints, especially in the legs, because they take most of the beating since they carry us around all day! All of our body weight puts a tremendous amount of stress on our joints so we need to know how to protect them. Maintaining a healthy body weight helps decrease the stress as well as, exercising and a good flexibility program. Leading a sedentary lifestyle is not the answer so continue to read on good maintenance techniques.
Any injury that affects the ligaments, cartilage or bones can contribute to joint pain. Joint pain can affect any part of the body from your neck to your feet. Joint pain is common amongst seniors, but anyone can be affected by it. It can occur all of a sudden, and can be sharp and painful (acute joint pain). On the other hand, it can last longer and can be dull and achy in nature (chronic joint pain). One of the causes of joint pain is bursitis (inflammation of the bursae). The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion and pad bony prominences, allowing muscles and tendons to move freely over the bone.
Arthritis, traumatic injuries, sprains and strains can contribute to joint pain. At times, joint pain may be associated with tingling, numbness, or weakness. Symptoms like these should be reported to a physician as quickly as possible. Joint pain can trigger muscle compensations across your body, which is the body's way of helping you cope with the joint pain.
In most cases, joint pain can be treated with progressive, supervised exercise which is exactly where your physical therapist can help. Exercising will also help you reduce or maintain your ideal weight, which helps decrease stress on weight-bearing joints like the hip and knee. Walking is the easiest exercise. No special equipment is needed, other than a good pair of walking shoes. Parking further away from your destination will help increase walking distance. Using the stairs instead of the elevator is another way to get some extra exercise.
If you have joint pain, a warm bath and massage can provide some short-term pain relief. Your physician may ask you to get some rest, and seek the advice of a licensed physical therapist.
Gradual, progressive stretching is a good way to reduce joint pain. Please consult a physician or a physical therapist before you start stretching.
Joint pain is an indication that you may need professional help. It may be a result of an undetected condition or an injury.
Your physical therapist will conduct a detailed evaluation to determine the cause of your joint pain. Expect your physical therapist to ask questions to get to the root of the problem. These questions include:
- What caused your pain?
- Which joint hurts?
- Is the pain on one side or both sides?
- How long have you had this pain?
- What is the nature or type of pain?
- Have you injured yourself in any way?
To learn more about how physical therapy can help you deal with joint pain, please call us today and schedule an appointment. We don't want you to experience any type of pain, and as the experts in joint motion and muscle strengthening, we would like to do everything possible to assist you. Our goal is to help you lead a pain-free lifestyle.