Maintaining joint health is vital—from avid outdoorsmen to alpinists to gamers at home, our joints are in constant use. As I type now, my fingers are contracting and extending via joints to access each key. Maintaining joint health is vital in maintaining optimal quality of life. Joint discomfort ranges in severity. Awareness of common causes allows you to monitor the health of your own joints. It can also prepare you for degenerative joint warning signs.
Joint discomfort may be indicative of a greater issue, but it is often the result of remedial issues. Chronic conditions—Rheumatoid Arthritis—often require greater care than benign causes of joint aches, such as the overuse of a muscle. Whether the issue is chronic or remedial, unhealthy joints greatly inhibit quality of life day to day. Below, we detail common causes of joint discomfort.
Osteoarthritis & Joint Discomfort
The most common cause of joint discomfort is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage cushioning the joint wears thin and the exposed bone rubs together. Most commonly, such wear-n-tear results in stiffness, and swelling. Overuse of the joint, weight, and high-impact movements are the most common causes of osteoarthritis. Though uncomfortable, osteoarthritis is common. Remedial treatments are available to alleviate discomfort through holistic means. Avoiding unnecessary and repeated impact encourages healthy joints.
Postmenopausal Osteoporosis & Bone Health
Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease. Osteoporosis weakens bones. Bone density absolves, and the structure becomes honeycomb-like in nature. This makes bones highly susceptible to fractures. Postmenopausal women are more susceptible to osteoporosis as the result of lowered estrogen levels. General medications and hormones may be prescribed preventatively or retroactively. Healthy living—through diet and exercise—may support bone and joint health.
Tendonitis & Swollen Joint Discomfort
Tendons are connective tissue that function to attach muscle to bone and to stabilize joints. Tendonitis occurs when the tendon becomes irritated and inflamed. The inflammation results in discomfort in and around the joint. Tendonitis, though painful, is mild in nature
Best Way to Maintain Healthy Joints
Joint health is wealth! Below are five tips to help maintain healthy joint sockets:
- Avoid Smoking: smoking increases joint inflammation
- Hydrate: prevent water loss in joint cartilage
- Maintain Healthy Weight: being over- and under-weight stresses joints
- Warm Up: working out cool muscles increases your likelihood of strains
- LISTEN: your body will signal you when you are pushing too hard