Have you ever looked back to an earlier day when you were active and engaged in sports and other outside activities? Like climbing a ridiculously large tree just because it seemed fun, roller blading in the park with friends, hiking because you love nature, and mountaineering because you are seeking some adventure.
Are you no longer able to do any of these, or maybe only half of them? Is pain holding you back?
One of the main reasons people stop being active is joint or muscle pain. Muscles and joints are like the tires for a car that make it roll. The joint is one of the most important part of our body as its main function is to connect our bones.
What is the Purpose of Your Joints?
Joints are the reason why we can bend our knees, flex our arms and so many other movements. These joints, that have a wide range of motion are called diarthrosis.
There are also joints that don’t allow movement.
They are called synarthrosis and can be found in the sockets of our teeth, for example. A third type of joint are called amphiarthrosis; they have limited range of motion and are found in the vertebrae and hips. Joints have three distinct structures: fibrous – collagen rich fibers, cartilage, and ligaments (synovial joints) which is connective tissue.
How Does Arthritis Occur?
As we get older, the connective tissues and fibers lose elasticity and become tight and brittle. So when the joints in our wrist, hands, hips and knees start acting up, we are probably at the onset of arthritis.
Two types of arthritis can make life unbearable: Osteoarthritis which breaks down cartilage and bones, and rheumatoid Arthritis which is an inflammation whereby the body destroys its healthy cells and can lead to deformation.
Another cause of joint pain is fibromyalgia.
This disease does not only causes joint pain but also muscle pain and is a long term condition. Also, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or what is commonly known as Lupus, can cause severe joint pain just like rheumatoid arthritis.
Lupus does not only affect the joints but also affects different systems in the body. Gout is less systemic than Lupus and usually affects an isolated joint at a time.
However, recurring gout episodes can cause deformities in the joint.
Children can be affected by arthritis: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis which can be treated and permanent remission is possible. Childhood arthritis manifests in symptoms such as joint pain, fever, swelling, stiffness and being unable to cope with daily activities of living.
All of these can be very debilitating and can hinder daily activities.
A person who has limited mobility may have reduced blood circulation, may deal with heartburn, indigestion and osteoporosis. The risk for heart disease increases due to lack of exercise.
What are Some Treatments for Arthritis, and Other Joint Pains?
Considering the side effects of pain medications, many have turned to natural remedies for pain relief. Magnesium is known to relax nerve endings, and stiffness or pain. It also regulates blood circulation in the body and helps our bones to mineralize.
Hot and cold compresses can offer relief, as well.
A hot compress promotes dilation of the vessels in joints which increases circulation. Cold compresses, on the other hand, constrict the vessels lowering the risk for inflammation.
A healthy diet is essential for good joint health. Omega 3 fatty acids, such as found in fish, coconut oil, chia and flax seed have anti-inflammatory effects. Collagen supplements would also help promote the body’s collagen production essential for healthy cartilage and joints.
Movement, as uncomfortable as it might be initially, is essential to loosen up stiff muscles and keep them nimble.
Immobility leads to atrophy.
Motion strengthens the joints and stimulates the body to produce lubricants to coat the joints.
Essential Oils have been found to help with joint and muscle pain as well.
The Kandala Muscle Soothing Essential Oil Blend contains Peppermint, Wintergreen, Eucalyptus, Camphor and German Chamomile. These ingredients are widely used because of their anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-spasmodic attributes.
Apply a couple of drops to a hot or cold compress and apply to the affected area.
You can add several drops to a hot bath and let your muscles relax in the warm water. Epsom salts are known to help with sprains, so adding this to the bath water will give another benefit.
If you simply like the smell of fresh peppermint, wintergreen, eucalyptus and camphor, add a few drops to a diffuser and breathe in the refreshing air.
Don’t allow pain to take over your life. Take the lead battling muscle and joint pains the natural way!