Joints help create the bonds between the bones in your body. They provide much-needed support and allow you to move around with relative ease. Joint injuries caused by an accident or an illness may lead to intense pain and make it very difficult to move.
The holidays, in particular, are a difficult part of the year, as people will tend to travel and prepare for the holidays, leading to stress and the increased risk of an injury. Winter activities or other fun activities with family and friends during the holidays may also increase the risk of an injury.
Joint pain should be treated as soon as possible, as it will likely not go away on its own and will only worsen with time. Here, we will provide you with the things you need to know about managing joint pain during the holidays.
Things You Should Know About Joint Pain
Joints help people move and connect bones. You may notice joint pain or have trouble moving around due to a sprain, strain, or certain medical ailments, such as Lyme disease, cancer, lupus, and osteoarthritis.
In some cases, the pain may be mild, while in others, the pain can be so intense that you may not be able to move at all. Most cases of joint pain are caused by inflammation. The pain also tends to be the most intense when the patient is involved in weight-bearing activity.
Symptoms to look for include limping, joint stiffness, limited range of motion, common weakness, and tenderness or swelling of the joints.
Managing Joint Pain During the Holidays
While a stress-free holiday is ideal for most, it may not be possible in some cases. Your joint health may be adversely impacted by your height, weight, age, gender, medical history, and certain diseases or disorders.
If you want to help reduce joint pain, you should eat a healthy and balanced diet low in sodium, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. You should also plan your travel ahead of time.
For example, if you will be driving to your holiday destination, you should take frequent breaks. Bring a blanket with you, as the cold weather can worsen joint pain. If you are flying, you should book a nonstop flight to eliminate the need to walk around.
Pack a light suitcase, and ensure that you have all of your pain management supplies with you, including neck pillows and back pillows and acetaminophen. Also, please ensure that you take all of your prescribed medication on time.
It can be easy to forget to take your meds during the hectic holidays, so use post-its or phone notifications to remind you to take your pills. Regular exercise is also a must to augment blood circulation and help improve your range of motion.
We would suggest that you exercise before you start your day to boost energy levels and blood flow before you begin your holiday activities for the day.
Tips to Keep Your Joints Healthy and Pain Free
You should try and maintain your ideal weight to reduce the risk of joint problems. Being overweight or obese will place added pressure on your joints and limit your energy levels and mobility.
Being active regularly will also keep your muscles toned and help prevent joint weakness and stiffness.
Regular exercise should become a part of your daily routine. You can begin with a brisk walk every day and slowly increase your intensity level until you can go on daily runs. Physiotherapy can also help manage muscle and joint pain.
Physiotherapy is a holistic therapeutic modality designed to target and eliminate musculoskeletal ailments without the use of medication or invasive procedures.
A physiotherapy procedure may be implemented to specifically target the root cause of your joint inflammation and pain to provide long-term relief.
The correct posture is also of the utmost importance if you want to reduce mobility and pain issues. Your physical therapist can help teach you how to maintain the proper posture and teach you exercises that you can do while at home or work during your breaks.
Smoking should also be avoided. Smoking is linked to hypertension, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, lung disease, and many other health problems that can cause or exacerbate joint pain.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe
Look for telltale signs that something is wrong with your joints. A doctor or physiotherapist should see any joint stiffness, redness, pain, or weakness as soon as possible.
Trying to get a hold of a physical therapist during the holidays may be very difficult, and you do not want to worry about pain management during the happiest time of the year.
Physiotherapists are experts in bone health. They will help improve your range of motion, mobility, and overall flexibility. They will perform a thorough examination of your body, including the possible use of radiographs, to determine the root cause of your joint pain.
They will then prescribe exercises custom-tailored to your medical condition, weight, height, gender, and anatomical limitations. Physical therapy also involves a preventative medicine component, helping prevent joint pain from occurring in the first place.
They will teach you exercises that will also eliminate muscle and joint stiffness and pain in the future. Physiotherapy will boost strength, endurance, and stamina, allowing you to exercise harder and for longer without injuring yourself in the process.
Best of all, physiotherapy does not involve powerful painkillers that carry serious side effects and are also highly addictive and expensive.
You also do not have to worry about invasive procedures, such as surgery, with physical therapy, minimizing the risk of pain and serious complications, such as blood clots, infections, or even death.
Erin Gregory is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for LifeMark Health Corp. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.