Dealing with joint pain or mild arthritis can be hard to accept and may cause upset to your life. Knowing how things may change for you and understanding the ways you can deal with these changes will help you to accept living with joint pain or mild arthritis and help you live your life to the fullest.
What causes joint pain?
Joint pain is very common with many possible causes, but it’s usually a result of injury or arthritis1.
You can get joint pain in just one joint, like your knee for example. As your knee joint takes the full weight of your body, it is probably the most frequently damaged.
Inflammation of the joint lining is another issue that can cause joint pain. If you have injured the joint recently, and it suddenly becomes painful again, the thin layer of tissue lining the joints and tendons may be inflamed.
Gout or pseudogout is another cause of joint pain (these are both types of arthritis). Gout usually affects your big toe first before affecting other joints, pseudogout usually affects your knee first.
What exactly is arthritis?
The NHS defines arthritis as “a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint”. There are a number of types of arthritis, the two most common being rheumatoid arthritis (caused by the body’s immune system targeting affected joints causing pain and swelling) and osteoarthritis (the most common type, initially affecting the cartilage around a joint).2
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
Because there are a number of types of arthritis, the symptoms will vary depending on the type. Speak to your GP if you have:
- Joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- Inflammation in and around the joints
- Restricted movement of the joints
- Warm red skin over the affected joint
- Weakness and muscle wasting
How might arthritis and joint pain affect your life?
Joint pain or mild arthritis may mean that you find everyday activities harder due to pain or inflammation. If you suffer from joint pain or mild arthritis it is important to know where you can get support and how you can make changes to your life to reduce the pain you experience and find ways to deal with it better.
What changes can you make to your life to live with joint pain or mild arthritis?
You can make changes throughout your home, garden and work life to make everyday life easier. Start by making small changes. For example, to avoid bending down too much, move sockets higher up, use a reaching stick, attach a basket to the back of your letter box. Making gripping things easier by swapping to pull cords rather than switches, invest in a contour grips and plug grips to make removing them easier. Versus Arthritis have a whole host of suggestions to make your home more accessible for yourself if you suffer from joint pain or arthritis. https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/living-with-arthritis/your-home/
How can I ease my joint pain?
There are a number of ways to help ease your joint pain. These include;
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Your weight has a big impact on your joints. Extra weight increases the pressure put on your joints, especially your knees, hips and feet. Reducing the amount of pressure on your joints can improve your mobility, decrease pain and prevent future damage
- Increase your exercise
- Continuing the amount of exercise you do, or starting to take part in exercise can help to keep your joints in good condition while strengthening your muscles
- Use cold and hot therapy
- Hot and cold treatments can help to make a difference when it comes to joint pain. Long, warm showers or baths can help to ease stiffness while cold treatments can help to relieve joint pain, swelling and inflammation
- Use medication
- Products containing ibuprofen will help to reduce inflammation and swelling