Most people experience aches and pain at some point in their lives, but they're generally not signs of any underlying condition. They can often be eased with simple treatments like exercise and painkillers, and you may not need to see your doctor. We explain the common causes of pain, how they're diagnosed and the importance of self-help measures.
Personally I have had many physical injuries throughout my training competitive life. Scholiosis back correction (before and after above), snapped knee ligaments below and now coping with an Arthritcally battered body. I have just had a double Hip replacement, including an un-scheduled femur fracture, as the surgeons tried to replace dislocated hip Ouch !
With a 4 vertebrae fusion and decompression of spine, followed closely by a Knee replacement. Recently the increased calcium in my body has grown bone spurts around the elbow causing nerve damage, now requiring surgery. I personally find exercising, massively beneficial, I guess my injuries are caused by my sporting pursuits, but its with this I find maximum relief from the Endorphin release post and during my training, that helps to reduce pain to joints. Its a personal thing totally.
There are about 200 different musculoskeletal conditions. Arthritis is a term used by doctors to describe inflammation within a joint, while rheumatism is a more general term that's used to describe aches and pains in or around the joints. Because there are many possible causes of these pains doctors don't often use the term rheumatism and will usually refer to these problems either by a specific diagnosis or according to the part of the body affected. Doctors sometimes use the term 'musculoskeletal conditions' or 'the rheumatic diseases' to refer to a whole range of conditions that affect the joints.
Different types of arthritis are treated with different drugs. Drugs are given to improve the symptoms and, where possible, to slow or halt the progress of the condition. Depending on your type of arthritis your doctor may need to give you a combination of one or more specific drugs to deal with the disease itself, as well as more general drugs to help you with the pain, stiffness or inflammation that are the symptoms.
If your arthritis is painful, you may not feel like exercising. I always remember motion is lotion ! However, being active can help reduce and prevent pain. Regular exercise can also:
- improve your range of movement and joint mobility
- increase muscle strength
- reduce stiffness
- boost your energy
As long as you do the right type and level of exercise for your condition, your arthritis won't get any worse. Combined with a healthy, balanced diet (see above), regular exercise will help you lose weight and place less strain on your joints. Always stay within your limits and enjoy the pain-killing endorphin release at the end of the session.
If you have arthritis, it's important to look after your joints so that there is no further damage. For example, try to reduce the stress on your joints while carrying out everyday tasks like moving and lifting.
Some tips for protecting your joints, particularly if you have arthritis, include:
- use larger, stronger joints as levers – for example, take the pressure of opening a heavy door on your shoulder rather than on your hand
- use several joints to spread the weight of an object – for example, use both hands to carry your shopping or distribute the weight evenly in a shoulder bag or rucksack
- don't grip too tightly – grip as loosely as possible or use a padded handle to widen your grip
The Arthritis Care website has more information and advice about taking care of your joints.
It's also important to avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time and to take regular breaks so you can move around.
Read more about good posture and how to sit correctly.
I shall return to this Arthritus page weekly now and keep people updated on any information that helps , if anybody wants to air problems, you can use the the e-mail to me and when I have enough I will open a blog.