The prevalence of joint pain in this country is out of control.
About 91 million U.S. adults may have some form of arthritis, according to a recent statistical analysis of survey data by the National Institutes of Health. 1
That whopping number of 1 in 4 Americans doesn’t even include those who suffer joint pain as a result of other causes.
Whether temporary or chronic, joint pain results in a high level of discomfort that compromises the quality of life of those burdened with it.
What’s worse, a lot of us just accept joint pain as “the way it is.” Older adults are often told by doctors that they’ll simply have to get used to experiencing pain for the rest of their lives.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’re one of the millions suffering from joint pain, read on to learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of joint pain.
Joints are what connect your bones. Pain occurs when damage or disease affects the tissues of the joint, including cartilage, bone, ligaments, muscles, and tendons - basically all the things you use to move. Which means joint pain can seriously interfere with your mobility.
Symptoms of Joint Pain
Joint pain can affect any part of the body, from your ankles and feet to hips, knees, shoulders, and wrists.
It can range from acute but sporadic to chronic and debilitating. Joint pain can mean mild aches or severe and sharp, or even burning, sensations. You may experience pain in a single joint, or multiple.
Those who suffer from joint pain know exactly how much it affects daily life. Whether it prevents you from something as necessary as being able to raise your arms above your head, or whether it keeps you from participating in activities and sports that you love, it severely impacts your quality of life.
"In fact, the quality of life of a person with persistent pain due to knee osteoarthritis is similar to quality of life in women with metastatic breast cancer controlled by therapy," says Elena Losina, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.2
There are many possible causes for joint pain, but the most common are injury or arthritis.
Arthritis is at the root of most chronic and severe joint pain. According to the CDC, about one in four adults in the U.S. with arthritis report experiencing severe pain from arthritis, and half report persistent pain.
Although often associated with adults over 65, arthritis can affect adults of all ages, both sexes, and all races and ethnicities.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting nearly half of all Americans over 65.1 It is the result of the deterioration of the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint.
Cartilage can wear down over time due to normal friction and pressure, but it can also be the result of an injury, genetics, or obesity. Osteoarthritis is specifically linked to activity and overuse.
Other types of arthritis that result in joint pain are psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These are autoimmune diseases that cause inflammation in the joints.
Injury is the other main cause of joint pain. If the joint pain caused by an injury lasts longer than three weeks, it’s considered chronic pain. Injury caused by accidents, sprains, and sports can leave you with lasting, infuriating, joint pain.
Other Causes of Joint Pain
Treatments for joint pain run the conventional gamut: rest, cold packs, heating pads, compresses, and elevation.
Many doctors also treat joint pain with NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. But taken frequently over time, these medications can have adverse consequences.
Joint pain is also treated with muscle relaxants and other prescription medications, injections such as steroid medications, with synthetic joint fluids, by removing excess fluid from the joint, and physical therapy.
Some people look to alternative treatments such as supplements, acupuncture, a change in diet, or even psychotherapy.
But the best solution is actually to keep moving.
Low-impact physical activity including walking, biking, and swimming is the best way to reduce joint pain.5
Treatment for minor arthritis, simple backache, muscle aches, strains, bruises, and sprains lies in relief that allows you to MOVE.
We’ve had something in the works to get you moving for a long time.