Achy Joints: Causes, Preventions, and More!
Joint pain can put a damper on your whole day. If you had a big morning planned, with a trip to the grocery store, a deep clean of the house, and a sunset hike, waking up with achy joints makes everything feel insurmountably difficult.
Learning what causes achy joints, how to prevent achy joints, especially the hips, elbows, knees, ankles, and shoulders, and what to do when you’re experiencing joint and body aches will put a little more freedom back in your day. Achy joints shouldn’t have to hold you back, and a few simple changes to your routine can feel liberating.
What Causes Achy Joints?
A wide variety of things cause achy joints, and each cause of achy joints has a different proposed solution. Many of these solutions are simply positive lifestyle changes that will help benefit your overall well-being.
If you’ve been moving around a lot more than you normally do, your joints could be achy as a result of overuse that can cause redness and swelling. This is just as true for very athletic people who have recently increased the intensity of their workouts as it is for sedentary people who are attempting to increase their daily movement.
Stress on the Joints
Weight-bearing joints can become achy if they feel overworked. Your joints are responsible for supporting the entirety of your body weight and making your body mobile. If they’re pushed past their limits, the joints will become damaged. This damage can lead to lasting discomfort and muscle spasms.
Your body needs a sufficient amount of comfortable, high-quality sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep or have difficulty falling asleep in uncomfortable positions -- you’re going to wake up achy. It’s imperative to dress your bed for comfort and get at least seven hours of sleep with properly supported joints.
Dehydration and mineral deficiencies are other common causes of joint pain. You may be tired of hearing that drinking water and eating a well-balanced diet are of the utmost importance, but it’s a very simple truth.
Eating better and staying hydrated will fuel your body to function optimally while supporting its natural healing processes.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the joint tissue, misidentifying it as a threat to your immune system’s ability to function properly. Osteoarthritis comes from continued wear and tear on joints. If you believe you may have arthritis or another condition, speak to your doctor to get a diagnosis.
To reduce discomfort, they may order specific blood tests, x-rays, suggest NSAIDs, or physical therapy. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist.
How to Prevent Achy Joints
Achy joints aren’t always preventable. Patients with arthritis can manage their symptoms with the help of their doctor, although proper prevention may reduce the severity of discomfort associated with arthritis.
A few lifestyle swaps and focused wellness choices can go a long way towards keeping your joints comfortable.
Managing Your Overall Health
Maintaining a healthy body weight and properly supplying your body with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will ease the stress on your joints and prevent infections that may worsen the condition.
Providing your body with everything it needs helps you recover from daily movement while you sleep. Most of your body is water, and proper hydration is essential for keeping tissue (including joint tissue) healthy.
Many people who use glucosamine and chondroitin supplements promote joint health. Although there are no supplements that will help to regrow lost joint cartilage or surrounding tissue, these supplements can help promote the health and cushioning function of the tissue within the joint.
They’re a gentle helping hand that can help slow the progression of joint damage when used in conjunction with other meaningful changes to support joint health.
Avoid Overexerting Yourself
Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, routinely putting your joints under undue stress is not. If your joints ache, it may be best to leave those tasks to someone else.
If you regularly exercise, increasing the intensity of your workouts should be done gradually. Give yourself adequate time to rest after training. While it’s admirable to have the desire to train every day, your body will need a day off to heal and recover after an intense or particularly challenging workout.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle and attempt to move more, you’ll likely experience achy joints even with mild physical activity. In this case, the benefits may outweigh the potential aches. As you continue to increase the duration of light activity, your body will acclimate to new movement. No one goes from couch potato to marathon runner without a few bumps along the way.
Improving Your Quality of Sleep
If your mattress and your pillow aren’t properly supporting your joints, it's not unusual to wake up achy in the morning. Choose a pillow designed to provide adequate neck support. If you can’t replace your entire mattress with one that’s more comfortable for you, a thick mattress pad designed to provide joint support may be helpful.
Using Massage Therapy
If you frequently experience joint aches, try incorporating a weekly or biweekly massage therapy session into your routine. Massage therapy helps muscles and joints to recover, and it’s just as effective for people who work on their feet as it is for people who work desk jobs.
If your doctor believes you’ll benefit from massage therapy, your health insurance may even be able to cover some of the costs.
Caring for Achy Joints
If your doctor or physical therapist has worked with you to create a plan for managing achy joints, adhere to that plan. If you feel as though it requires supplementation, mention this to your doctor.
Over the Counter Relievers
Over-the-counter medication can help to ease joint stiffness and discomfort, but they should be used sparingly. Acetaminophen is an analgesic that dulls the sensation of discomfort, and ibuprofen can help reduce the redness, swelling, tenderness, and warmth surrounding the achy joints.
Always follow package instructions when using over-the-counter relievers. Using too much can lead to side effects, including liver toxicity and stomach irritation.
Topical Relief Products
With the aid of topical relief products, these can help ease achy joints from the surface of the skin. They work locally and can be safely used as often as needed. Rubs, creams, and gels are popular among people with achy joints who don’t want to take an excessive amount of oral medication to manage their aches.
Hempvana Has the Solution for Achy Joints
Hempvana’s Arthritis Pain Relief Gel is formulated to help soothe achy joints associated with arthritis. This gel is formulated with soothing, cooling menthol, glucosamine, and chondroitin, all of which are ingredients known to support overall joint health.
If your aches affect your muscles, try Hempvana’s Lidocaine Cream. Lidocaine is a topical numbing cream that penetrates the skin, temporarily reducing the unwanted sensation by numbing it away.
You might feel good enough to get up and go for a run, but don’t push it.
Your joints and muscles need time to rest and recover. The lidocaine simply makes it easier to enjoy a little relaxation when you need it most.