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Suffering from joint pains? Try these

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If you suffer from joint pain, you know how painful and inconvenient that is. Occasional joint pain happens to almost all of us at least once in our life. In addition, there is a group of diseases called arthritis, one of the commonest causes of joint pain. Arthritis is characterised by not only pain but also swelling and stiffness.

Regardless of the cause, we can do some things to reduce joint pain and discomfort and support the healing process.

Applying heat to the affected joint, either in for form of a hot water bottle or a warm bath, can help. Alternatively, we can use cold treatment. But this needs to be limited to 20 minutes at one time.
Cold treatment can take the form of an ice bag or ice wrapped in a towel applied to the joint, or the joint can be submerged in ice-cold water.

Exercise can alleviate the pain, and it is often recommended for arthritis patients. The trick is to select the appropriate type of activity. Usually, low-impact aerobics are suggested, e.g., walking, swimming, cycling etc. These activities do not damage the joints but help to build the muscles around them.

Arthritis patients must refrain from running, jumping or other high-impact aerobics activities, as they will do more harm than good. At least 150 minutes of exercise should be targeted each week.

Massaging the affected part is a common practice when we suffer from joint pain. The Arthritis Foundation of the US suggests that patients massage the muscles and joints regularly to minimise the risk of pain.
Diet is also essential as a preventive measure for joint pain. A healthy and balanced diet containing vegetables and fresh fruit can supply the much-needed antioxidants to fight joint inflammation.

Eating fish like Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, nuts, and seeds provides omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 supplements available in the market can also be used for added benefits.

Adding Turmeric to food is also useful, as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Arthritis patients need to limit the intake of red meat, saturated fat, processed foods, extra salt and sugar in their meals.

Interestingly, pineapple has some beneficial effects in reducing inflammation due to certain chemicals in it. It should be taken as a snack between meals. However, pineapple juice will not serve the purpose.
Maintaining proper body weight is essential to reduce the risk of joint pain. Based on Arthritis Foundation data, half a kilogram of extra weight means almost 1.3 kilograms of stress on the knees and about 2.7 kilograms of extra stress on the hip joint.

American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation recommend losing weight for overweight or obese patients.

Smoking is linked to many health problems, including damage to our body's connective tissue. This may manifest as joint pain. So, avoiding smoking may go a long way to ensure a healthy life.

Sometimes we need to check with a physician, especially if the pain, swelling or stiffness persists for at least 3 consecutive days or if the patients have difficulty performing daily chores due to the pain at the same time.

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