Joint Pain

October 13, 2011

Joint pain can have a debilitating effect on your everyday life.  Whether it appears as a discomfort when touched, swelling, inflammation of an area, or limited  movement, there are several possible causes. Extended discomfort should be seen by a doctor.  If you already know what causes your joint pain, you may have a standard treatment you use.  A few of the most common causes of joint pain are:
  • Broken bones, sprains and strains can all cause pain in the affected joint which can bother you long after the injury has healed. Stress caused by overuse also leads to joint pain. For instance, excessive pressure on knees, overuse, or injury, may lead to degeneration of the cartilage beneath the kneecap, a condition that commonly causes joint pain in adolescents and young adults. Careful attention to safety when participating in sports or a fitness regimen is the best preventative measure against sports-related injuries that lead to joint pain.
  • Up to 22 million Americans have autoimmune disorders. Nearly 80% of them are women — many in their childbearing years, and the numbers are growing. Severe autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues in your body. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive, inflammatory disease that attacks the joints, while lupus is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the joints, kidneys, blood cells, skin, lungs and heart -- both may cause severe joint pain. An anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the discomfort and flare-ups caused by this autoimmune disorders.
  • Arthritis causes progressive, chronic joint pain. The most common form is osteoarthritis, which causes pain in the joints of the hips, knees, hands or spine. Septic arthritis is an infection that has spread from another location of the body to one joint, causing severe pain. Gout is a type of arthritis that causes severe attacks of pain in the joints--usually in the big toe. A healthy diet and exercise will help maintain joint health.
  • Bursitis is characterized by swelling of fluid-filled sacs, called bursae, found between tendons and skin or bone. It can cause acute or chronic pain in the joints, which is most noticeable during movement.
Autoimmune disease, arthritis, bursitis and gout all have shown to be alleviated by anti-inflammatory diets.  Eat colorful fruits and vegetables, such as berries, leafy greens and broccoli which are rich in antioxidants to promote strong immune system function, and fiber and water to support appetite control. Vitamin C, prevalent in bell peppers, citrus fruits and tomatoes, may enhance tissue repair and healing from bursitis. Research is limited, but switching from a meat-heavy diet to a plant-based diet may improve symptoms of gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Cold-water fish - such as salmon, herring, halibut and mackerel, flax seed, walnuts, and canola oil contain important omega-3 fatty acids, and are a vital addition to any anti-inflammatory diet. Joint pain can seriously hamper your ability to enjoy all life has to offer, there are many options, eat healthy, stay active and see your doctor if the pain persists!

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