Everything You Need to Know About Your Stiff Joints

Your joints will become stiff as you age, it is a simple fact of life. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to prevent the pain.

Joint aches at later years are common. So common in fact that people feel there is nothing to do about them, which is wrong. But first let’s talk of what exactly is happening to your body.

The cartilage (a soft material between your bones) starts to dry and stiffen. In addition, your body starts to produce less synovial fluid – think of it as the oil that lubricates your body – which also adds to increased sourness. This fluid is produced when moving. That’s why your joints feel most stiff in the mornings after you wake up. It is also why the best thing you could do to cure your aching joints, is to not stop moving. That is the first lesson of this piece: movement is key.

Osteoarthritis

Painful and potentially dangerous. Osteoarthritis (OA) happens when two bones touch each other, causing them to break and chafe, making your joints very painful. The end of each bone is covered in a cartilage, a substance akin to rubber that keeps bones from rubbing against each other. When it falters due to age or injury, the bones have nothing keeping them from touching each other, break pieces off and produce painful joints.

First and foremost in treating OA is to handle the joint pain. Over-the-counter drugs should do nicely. As for proper treatment talk to your doctor, as each case is delicate. Surgery can be required although it is rare.

Rheumatoid

A nuisance if nothing else. It can flair up at any time without rhyme or reason, frequenting your wrists or finger joints. RA is caused by an outside interference that has been let through by your sloppy immune system. It can reside anywhere in your body, and can be the source of constant pain and stiffness.

RA is stopped by taking drugs that halts its evolving in your body. The drugs are called DMARDs, disease-modifying-anti-rheumatic-drugs. Eating well, resting, and generally taking care of yourself can also come a long way in curing the disease.

Other Arthritis

RA and OA are the most common, but by no means are they the only types of arthritis known.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects your spine, although it can make your hands, hips or feet fiercely stiff as well. Gout, which is the first sign of uric acid build up in your body. Infectious arthritis often starts from an infection that moves to some big joint in your body.

Psoriatic arthritis takes to claim people that have psoriasis, or family members inflicted by it. Pitted nails and swollen fingers are the most common symptoms.

Common Joint Injuries

Most common joint pains are inflammation, which is cause by a misuse or overuse of a joint. The two most common injuries are Bursitis, which involves the bursae, a fluid-filled sack that lies between your bones. And Tendinitis which involves the tendons that attach your muscles to your bones.

A change in the weather has also been known to produce joint pains. Although how and why is still a mystery to most scientists.

Don’t slouch on your pain medication, joint pain has been known to be excruciating if left alone. Luckily most conditions are easy to treat, and you will likely have a full recovery.

Signs

Exercise is very important. Having strong bones and good balance is essential to having less joint-pains further down the line. Try to remember this, as a healthy strong body means strong painless joints.

However, regardless of how much you take care of yourself, there are still telltale signs that something is wrong. These are:

  • Extreme pain.
  • Deformed joint.
  • Unusable joints.
  • Sudden Swelling.

These signs should have your running to your doctor:

  • Your joints are tender or hard to move.
  • The skin is red or warm to the touch.
  • Joint symptoms last more than 3 days or happen several times a month.