Joint pain represent painful sensations affecting one or more joints such as shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot. Joint pain can be associated with swelling and inflammation. The causes are many, including trauma or fractures could cause this disorder to arise.
- Furthermore, joint pain can arise following various diseases, including:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- premenstrual syndrome
Although there is no need to be alarmed, it is advisable to consult your doctor if the symptom persists. When joint pain is prolonged for days, is associated with fever and swelling, is accompanied by acute pains or if they appear as a result of traumas and bruises, we recommend a timely visit to the nearest emergency room.
When joint pain is not accompanied by other symptoms or established with the doctor that there are no significant pathologies, it is possible to use some remedies. For example, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to reduce joint pain associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis. However, the drug, useful in the acute phase, is not able to eliminate the cause of pain.
Among the natural remedies for joint pain we have a great ally: physical exercise. When we experience pain, the tendency is to rest. This is right above all in the inflammatory phase. However, standing still is wrong because the joints, like the rest of the body, should be trained.
First of all, the joint that is not used tends to get worse. Secondly, if the muscles are not strong and trained, when we make a movement, weight and effort are all at the expense of the joint. Individuals who are overweight and suffer from ankle and knee joint pain greatly benefit from weight loss, precisely because the joints are subjected to greater effort.
Of course we must consider that physical exercise must be practiced gradually depending on the level of training and age.
Whether they are perfectly healthy and efficient or they have already started to give some problems with soreness and stiffness and, above all, after a trauma of some importance, the joints and muscles that allow their movement must be used and trained every day to preserve them or fully recover its functionality and prevent more significant problems over time.
In addition to physical activity in general, always useful if performed correctly and without excess, the state of specific joint such as shoulders, elbows, wrists and knees can be improved through targeted stretching, mobilization and reinforcement exercises, from carry out daily at home or in the office, in moments of greater tranquility, when it is possible to dedicate 15-20 minutes to their execution, without being disturbed.
Regardless of the specific exercise, the intended movements must always be performed slowly and evenly, without hurry or forcing, and must not cause pain. The intensity of the training must be increased gradually, starting with 2-5 repetitions for each type of exercise and reaching up to ten repetitions over 1-2 weeks.
If pain, tingling or numbness appear during training, consult your doctor to check the condition of the joint and supporting tissues and proceed to any treatment you may need, or contact a physiotherapist to undertake a more specific rehabilitation program.
Here are some examples of joint exercises:
- Place one foot on a tablet which is placed on a tennis ball and perform flexion, extension, inclination and rotation of the ankle.
- Leaning with your toes on a support, perform vertical flexion and extension of the ankle.
- Lie down, stretch out and flex the knee as much as possible with one hand.
- Lie down, lean your back against the floor and simulate cycling.
- Lie down and bring the knee to the chest by resisting with your hands, in this way you strengthen the muscles that flex the hip.
- Resting your hands and knees on the floor to perform flexion and hip extensions.
- Place your hands on your shoulders and make slow movements in all directions with your elbows.
- Shoulder strain has a pain-relieving effect. Tilt the trunk slightly while placing one hand on a table. With the other hand swing a weight of 2-3 kg, making sure to relax the shoulder as much as possible.
Wrists and elbows
- Squeeze a cloth, first in one direction, then in the other.
- With your fingers crossed, stretch your hands upwards with your palms facing the ceiling.
The Devil’s Claw has an antirheumatic, analgesic, choleretic and eupeptic action. The Devil’s Claw is indicated for acute and chronic rheumatism, arthritis and arthrosis, joint pain, loss of appetite and dyspepsia. We find it in capsules to help ingest the dry extract. The root in decoction has an unpleasant taste in itself, but can be improved with orange peel. It is recommended for use on a full stomach.
Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, immunostimulant, antimicrobial, antioxidant action. Turmeric is indicated in cases of chronic arthrosis, rheumatic arthritis, chronic rheumatic diseases, dyspepsias. We find it in dry extract standardized in 95% curcumin and we can take it in the form of capsules.
Glucosamine is an essential amino sugar for cartilage synthesis, which also plays an important role in stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid. It is extracted from the crustaceans carapace. In supplements we can find it in the form of Glucosamine hydrochloride or sulfur and is indicated in case of osteoarthritis. Performs the function of strengthening the joints, preserving their elasticity and structure and with an anti-inflammatory action.
Boswellia is a tree typical of central India. It uses its gum resin for preparations from the anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antimicrobial action. It is indicated in cases of rheumatic arthritis, arthrosis, fibromyalgia, periarthritis, tendinitis. We can find it both in dry extract and in hydroalcoholic extract and essential oil. It is often in synergistic formulations with the devil’s claw and turmeric.
Galanga is a herbaceous plant native to Java rich in essential oils and flavonoids. It carries out an anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, immunostimulant, antiallergic, eupeptic, antimicrobial action. It is indicated in case of osteoarthritis, rheumatism, deficient immune defenses, dyspepsia, allergic states. We can find Galanga powder on the market to prepare a decoction. The dosage recommended by ayurvedic centers is 1 to 3 g of powder for 50-100 ml of water.
Some joint pains can depend on a surplus of activity, especially sports and a relative lack of magnesium. It can happen that our body does not absorb the necessary quotas for problems of various kinds, such as stress, unbalanced nutrition, drugs, but also the use of vitamins antagonistic to the absorption of this important mineral. Vitamin D for example increases accumulation calcium in tissues and increases intestinal absorption at the expense of magnesium. Vitamins B1, C, E and B6 also stimulate metabolic functions by increasing the demand for magnesium. Folic acid also increases the activity of a number of glycolytic enzymes that require magnesium. We therefore take care to use vitamin integration on our own initiative. For a whole series of causes related to the magnesium impoverishment in the body, we may need a supplement. Magnesium is particularly indicated in case of arthrosis for the benefit of joints such as shoulders, arms and hands. The most effective dosage will be indicated to us by the doctor, to take full advantage of its properties without interfering with the action of other nutrients and electrolytes.
Arnica is a herbaceous plant that has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-microscopic action. It is indicated in case of traumas such as hematomas, bruises, ecchymoses, but also edema due to fracture, osteoarticular disorders, rheumatism, inflammation. We can find on the market ointments containing fractions of oil (15%) or tincture (20-25%) of Arnica. The warning is to not use it on open wounds, or ulcers because it could cause edematous dermatitis.
Ginger has an anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, and febrifugal action. We can use ginger powder to make hot sponging on the painful part: in this way we take advantage of the revulsive properties that allow us to bring to the surface the excess heat due to inflammation to soothe both joint pain and muscle blockages.
The essential oil of Mint has anti-inflammatory, refreshing properties, and is well suited to be mixed with ointments, ointments or in the clay poultice if we have to deal with inflammatory joint pains.
The essential oil of Eucalyptus has circulatory, warming, dynamizing properties and is indicated in case of joint pains from cooling, from blockage, with muscle stiffening.
Clay is a rich complex of minerals that performs multiple activities including those of anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, mineralizing, healing, absorbent, anti-toxic. It therefore helps to disinfect the part, reduce its pain, absorb edema and liquid spills, detoxify. The wrap is prepared with lukewarm water, a teaspoon of olive or hypericum oil and the dose of clay powder to be mixed until a dense mixture is made to spread on the joint in question. If the pain is due to inflammation let the clay act for the necessary time and then rinse. The time needed is from 5 to 15 minutes: it is clear from the speed with which the clay dries and heats up, because it is absorbing excess heat. For problems of a rheumatic nature, edema application times may be longer. The only warning is to not use metal spoons or mixing tools when preparing the compound, but prefer wood or possibly plastic.