Are your joints achy or stiff? Do you find it harder to get out of bed than you used to, or experience, clicking or popping when you move?
If so, you’re not alone.
In fact, joint problems are one of the most common complaints of people of every age. Yet, it’s also true that these problems only seem to get worse with the passing years.
In this article, we will delve into the most likely causes of joint discomfort, as well as take a look at how you can distinguish between joint and muscle aches. And we’ll also take a quick look at a few ways to help your joints at home, including natural oils that are known for their joint- relieving powers.
Causes of Joint Problems
Joint problems can be due to a variety of causes, depending on the joint involved. Some of the most common joints that people experience issues with are the hips and knees. This pain can be due to overwork, or the simple fact that they have to bear the weight of the entire body for a lifetime, which causes wear and tear. Discomfort of the hips and knees can also be due to an injury, which can lead to irritation or even a tear of the soft tissue.
Other joints that cause widespread complaint are those of the upper body, including wrists, elbows and shoulders. These joints are usually affected by repetitive stress, such as that caused by computer work, tennis, golfing, knitting, or even playing musical instruments.
Repetitive stress injuries can lead to symptoms like discomfort, tingling, numbness, stiffness, or weakness in the affected area. They can also cause swelling and redness over the joint and you may even hear clicking or popping in the joint when you move it.
Differences between Joint and Muscle Problems
You may be wondering whether the discomfort you’re feeling is caused by your joints or your muscles. And although they can be very similar, or even occur simultaneously, it can help to know which is at the root of your symptoms.
Muscle irritation is generally caused by injury, overuse, or tension in the muscles, which leads to soreness, tenderness, and weakness. This can occur following exercise or can be due to another cause such as stepping off a curb wrong.
Joint problems, on the other hand, are caused by swelling, injury, or damage to the joint. These result in stiffness, discomfort, and may involve a deep ache or a sharp feeling when you move.
Most Common Joint Symptoms
While discomfort, stiffness, and swelling are the most likely signs of joint issues, there are other symptoms you may experience.
- Limited range of motion
- Weakness of the muscles around the joint
- Buckling or instability of the joint
- Clicking or popping when bending the joint
- Bony growths (especially in the small joints of the fingers)
Joint issues can also lead to fatigue, lack of energy, and increased stress due to the toll they take on your body and mental wellbeing.
What is the Treatment for Joint Problems?
While there are prescription and over-the-counter medications available for joint problems, whenever possible it’s preferable to care for your joints naturally in order to avoid the side effects that come with any medication.
Luckily, there are a number of things that you can do to help that can be extremely effective in reducing your aches and discomforts.
#1 – Topicals
You can experience fast topical relief from joint issues using a few powerful natural oils. The best oils for joints are:
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is loaded with good fats that help nourish joint tissues when applied topically. Simply massaging this rich oil into the skin over the affected joint can help soothe discomfort and also help with post-workout recovery.
- Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is a natural remedy that can alleviate muscle aches and irritation. Jojoba helps to naturally support healthy, balanced inflammation to ease joint issues and calm overworked muscles.
- Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil offers powerful joint and muscle support. Its invigorating aroma calms the mind to relax the stress that keeps muscles tense. And it also provides a powerful cooling sensation that soothes joint discomfort.
- Arnica Oil: Arnica oil is especially powerful for joint problems. Because the oil is loaded with sesquiterpene lactones, it helps maintain inflammation levels in the normal range to reduce joint stiffness and irritation.
- Wintergreen Oil: Wintergreen oil is great for calming both muscles and joints. Rich in methyl salicylate, the oil supports healthy inflammation and eases irritation and tension.
- Camphor Oil: Camphor oil can be used topically to soothe discomfort and reduce irritation. A potent natural remedy for joint and muscle aches, the oil can be rubbed into the skin to deliver fast relief.
#2 – Exercise
Exercise is another powerful tool in combatting joint issues. Simple daily exercise, including yoga, walking, swimming, or other low-impact activities can go a long way to improving the health of your joints.
#3 – Weight loss
Losing weight can also help make your joints happy. That’s because for every extra pound you carry, an added strain is applied to your joints. This is especially true of the weight-bearing joints of your hips and knees.
#4 – At-home remedies
Other at-home remedies including using a heating pad or ice packs to calm and soothe your joints. Just be sure to place a towel between your skin and the heating pad or ice to protect your skin. It’s recommended to only use them for 20 minutes at a time and can be helpful to alternate between heat and ice.
If you’re living with joint aches and discomfort, symptoms like stiffness, popping, and instability could stop you from living your best life. However, by using the tips above, including topical oils, exercise, weight loss, and heat and ice, you can reduce the amount of joint issues you experience, get back to the activities you love, and back to living the life you want.
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†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.