Have you ever met someone that is ridiculously flexible? It’s hard to comprehend how it is they manage to bend their body into such contortionist like poses, so you assume that they must be “double-jointed.”
The term double-jointed is actually an inaccurate one—hypermobility is the medically correct term for those with above average flexibility. So what is it that makes this kind of flexibility possible? The answer lies within your joints.
Our joints allow us to walk, run, sit and so on. Without joints we would be stiff, rather immobile creatures, and for those of us with joint pain we know how limiting joint conditions can be. There is a lot to know about joint pain, which is why we’ve complied the Top 10 Things to Know About Joint Pain—to keep you healthy, happy and active.
- Arthritis- Simply put, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. However, there are many different types of arthritis, the two most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s important to know the difference to approach an effective treatment plan.
- Obesity- If you are overweight or obese, this extra weight places a large strain on your joints, especially the weight-bearing joints. Knees, hips and facet joints take a real beating and additional weight can cause joint pain, which is why it’s best to maintain a healthy weight.
- Aging- Like most things in life, joints can wear out too. Joints often become stiff, less flexible, and fluid in the joints decreases. In the event that joints wear out, surgery and joint replacements are available.
- Physical Injury- For those who like to live life on the active, adventurous side, it can sometimes lead to joint pain. Common activities and sports often result in tears, breaks and fractures that need to be treated by an orthopedic specialist.
- Overuse- Repetitive stress injuries are a big culprit of joint pain. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be on the field to develop one. Something as simple as sitting at your office desk or constantly reaching can cause joint pain.
- Knees and Hips- These joints are the most common to go, and the most common to be replaced as our St. Mark’s orthopedic surgeons explain. Since these joints carry most of your body’s weight, it’s crucial to keep them in good working order.
- Shoes- What you wear on your feet affects not only how your feet feel, but your whole body. Unsupportive, ill-fitting shoes lead to poor posture, which leads to back pain and, you guessed it, joint pain.
- Disease- Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious diseases such as, measles, mumps and Lyme disease, can bring about joint pain.
- Bursitis and Tendonitis- Both of these conditions cause joint pain. Bursitis is characterized by the swelling of fluid-filled sacs, while tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. Your doctor can help identify and treat these problems.
- Diet and Exercise- Despite common misconceptions, exercise can help ease joint pain. Diet also plays an important role in combating joint pain.