6 Risk Factors for Joint Pain

6 Risk Factors for Joint Pain

Your knees, shoulders, elbows and ankles are all joints that are susceptible to injury, damage and pain. Pain from these joints usually stems from the damage of ligaments, tendons, cartilage bursae and/or conjoining bones. Although joint pain is not usually a critical condition, it can severely limit a sufferer from mobility and performing daily tasks and activities. Joints allow our limbs and extremities to move freely, so it can be frustrating when those movements are restrained by pain.

There are many reasons that joint pain develops, such as the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Inflammation
  • Gout
  • Injury, such as sprains, strains or ligament tears

On top of these causes, your daily routine may be putting you at risk for severe or chronic joint pain. Check out the 6 risk factors for joint pain.

Obesity

Excess weight can put pressure and stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees.

Smoking

Smoking is harmful to the body and contributes to chronic pain including joint pain.

Higher Age

Your risk of developing arthritis increases with age. People under 40 years old rarely experience arthritis-related problems.

Injuries

Injuries, due to work other than athletic activity, can put you at risk of joint pain.

Stress and dissatisfaction with life

Stress causes inflammation in the body, which causes pain and swelling in your joints.

Hard physical labor

Physical labor, especially involving repetitive action, can cause joint pain over time.

If your knee pain won’t fade, your health care provider may have recommended surgery to reverse the damage. However, there is no reason to resort to that choice before you at least try our non-operative treatments. We have helped many patients throughout North America avoid knee and shoulder surgery and replacement that requires weeks of bed rest and long periods of physical therapy. Call us today to schedule an appointment. 806-350-BONE(2663)

Foods That Help Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

Foods That Help Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. This means that the body’s own immune system attacks its own healthy tissue.  Although target areas like joints and ligaments are defining characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis, it can also affect other parts of the body as well, such as skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

Symptoms of RA include:

  • Pain or aching of joints
  • Stiffness of joints
  • Swelling of joints
  • Tender, warm joints
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

In addition to treatment, there are several lifestyle changes you can consider to help with RA symptoms, such as changing up your diet. Check out these foods that help fight rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3 Fats

Research suggests that food high in omega-3 fats help prevent inflammation. This healthy fat is found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, flaxseeds and walnuts. Try eating 3 to 4 ounces of fish, twice a week.

Broccoli

Broccoli really is a super food. It is rich in vitamins C and K, and calcium, and it contains a helpful compound called sulforaphane. According to a Mayo Clinic study, Broccoli actually helps protect against the development of RA. Try also adding cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale to your regular diet.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil, a heart healthy fat, contains oleocanthal, which blocks inflammation enzymes. Try using it as a replacement for other oils in your cooking and salad dressings.

Vitamin C

Cartilage protects and cushions joints as they move. Vitamin C protects collagen, which is a large part of cartilage. Try adding more citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits to your diet to reap the benefits of vitamin C.

Green Tea

Green tea contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. When looking for your morning caffeine kick, try switching from coffee to a hot cup of green tea.

Whole Grains

C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood is a marker of inflammation. Whole grains help lower these levels. The next time you are at the store, skip the white rice and pick up some brown rice. Oatmeal and whole-grain cereals are also smart choices.

Anyone can be affected by RA. Having a family member with RA can increase your odds; however, the majority of people with the disease do not have family history of the disease. Currently, RA affects about 1% of Americans. It affects almost 3 times as many women as it does men.

If you feel RA may affect you, let us help you at Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. Give us a call at 806.350.BONE (2663) to schedule an appointment today!  

Exercise Tips for Optimal Joint Health

Exercise Tips for Optimal Joint Health

Exercise is important for all of us. Whether you are in perfect shape or have painful joints, it is important to tailor your workout routine to your body’s needs. Exercise is meant to nurture your body, not hurt your body. That said, if you have painful joints, don’t let this stop you from giving your body the workout it needs. In fact, regular exercise can help ease your pain. Research shows that regular exercise helps reduce inflammation and even increase pain tolerance. Here are some helpful exercise tips for optimal joint health.

Always Warm Up

Jumping on a machine immediately after entering the gym can be detrimental to your joints. You must first warm up your body to loosen your muscles and tendons. Working out when these are still tight is what can lead to joint pain. Your warm-up can be as simple as light movement for 5 minutes to get your blood flowing. Perhaps try an easy walk.

Low-Impact Cardio

The more you move, the less stiff your joints will be. If you are looking to get your heart rate elevated but want a low-impact exercise option, try swimming, bicycling, rowing, exercising on an elliptical or even walking. These are the best options for protecting your joints.

In addition to these low-impact exercises, you might want to try practices like yoga and Pilates. These both help strengthen your ab and back muscles, which ultimately helps maintain balance and lessen your likelihood of injury by falling.

Strengthen Your Muscles with Weights

Stronger muscles help to lessen strain on your joints. Add in some weight training to your exercise routine. Weight machines, free weights and resistance bands are all helpful in getting stronger and building muscle mass. You should take things slowly at the start. Always listen to your body. Try to incorporate weight training 2-3 times per week and alternate between upper body and lower body workouts.

Change Things Up

Overuse injuries are another culprit of joint pain. To avoid this, don’t do the same routine every day. Mix up your workouts. Perhaps you could try swimming one day and biking the next.

Stretch

It is important to keep your muscles and tendons flexible. After your workout, make sure to stretch all of the muscles you used that day. You’ll want to try and hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.

It is important to find a daily exercise routine that works for your schedule. It will help improve strength and stamina. Added benefits include releasing feel-good endorphins and clearing bad toxins from your body.

Do you suffer from joint pain? We may have a solution for you. Call Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopedics today to learn more! 806.350.BONE (2663)

Are Steroid Injections for Joint Pain Right for You?

Are Steroid Injections for Joint Pain Right for You?

Your knees, shoulders, elbows and ankles are all joints that are susceptible to injury, damage and pain. Pain from these joints usually stems from the damage of ligaments, tendons, cartilage bursae and/or conjoining bones. Although joint pain is not usually a critical condition, it can severely limit a sufferer from mobility and performing daily tasks and activities. Joints allow our limbs and extremities to move freely, so it can be frustrating when those movements are restrained by pain.

Causes of Joint Pain

  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Inflammation
  • Gout
  • Injuries such as sprains, strains or ligament tears

Joint Pain Symptoms

While joint knee pain itself is a common symptom, there are numerous other effects that can come along with it. We can help our clients with symptoms like:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Warmth
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Limping
  • Joint locking
  • Limited range of motion of the joint

Steroid Injections for Joint Pain

Steroids decrease inflammation and reduce the activity of the immune system. This can be helpful for joint pain. Steroid injections are administered directly into the inflamed area. Typically, they are injected into joints such as your ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine and wrist. This ensures that a high dose of the medication reaches the problem area. The same cannot be said for steroids given by mouth or intravenously. Local steroid injections are less likely than other forms of the medication to produce serious side effects and are generally well tolerated. Depending on the patient and the condition of the inflamed area, steroid injections can provide pain relief anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.

While steroid injections are considered to be one of the most effective ways to decrease joint pain, they generally do not cure the illness. Steroids should not be used if there is an infection in the problem area or any other area of the body. If a joint it severely destroyed, injections may not provide any benefit. You should not have steroid injections too frequently, as this increases the risk of weakening tissues in the infected area. Patients are typically advised to only have 4 or fewer injections in a year.

If your knee pain just won’t fade, your health care provider may have recommended surgery to reverse the damage. However, there is no reason to resort to that choice before you at least try our non-operative treatments. We have helped many patients throughout North America avoid knee and shoulder surgery and replacement that requires weeks of bed rest and long periods of physical therapy. Call Park Sports Medicine and Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment. 806-350-BONE (2663)

5 Gout Symptoms You Can’t Afford to Ignore

5 Gout Symptoms You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Your knees, shoulders, elbows and ankles are joints that are susceptible to injury, damage and pain. Pain from these joints usually stems from the damage of ligaments, tendons, cartilage bursae and/or conjoining bones. Although joint pain is not usually a critical condition, it can severely limit a sufferer from mobility and performing daily tasks and activities. Joints allow our limbs and extremities to move freely, so it can be frustrating when those movements are restrained by pain. One of the most common joint pain causes is gout.

What is gout?

Gout is a complex form of arthritis. People with gout suffer from sudden and severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness. Often, this pain is concentrated at the joint at the base of the big toe. The joint becomes so hot and tender that even the lightest touches can seem unbearable. Men are more likely than woman to be affected by gout. If left untreated, gout can lead to even worse pain and joint damage.

Symptoms of Gout

Extreme Joint Pain: While gout most commonly affects the joints in your big toe, it can also affect your feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists. If you are experiencing extreme pain in any of these areas, it may be gout. Pain is typically more intense at the start of an attack.

Prolonged Discomfort: Once the initial attack has subsided, pain can linger in your joints for several days or weeks. Gout can also gain momentum and affect other areas of your body for longer periods of time after the first incidence.

Inflammation and Redness: When suffering from gout, you may visibly see the joints become swollen, warm, red and tender. If you also experience a fever, make sure to call your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of infection.

Limited Range of Motion: The longer the pain lasts, the more mobility your joints may lose.

If your joint pain won’t fade, your health care provider may have recommended surgery to reverse the damage. However, there is no reason to resort to that choice before you at least try our non-operative treatments. We have helped many patients throughout North America avoid surgery that requires weeks of bed rest and long periods of physical therapy.

If you are experiencing sudden intense joint pain, we may have a solution for you. Give Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopedics a call today! 806-350-BONE(2663)