Living with stiff joints can have a significant impact on quality of life, as achy joints affect what we can and can’t do every day. One in five people in the United States will experience stiffness in their joints, affecting millions of Americans every year. The first step in alleviating painful and stiff joints is understanding what’s causing them.
Causes of Stiff Joints
There are various causes of stiff joints, with one of the most common being arthritis. Arthritis occurs when the joints are inflamed, leading to pain and tenderness. Some of the most common types of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Other frequent sources of stiff joints are bursitis and tendonitis, which are inflammatory conditions affecting the tendons and the small sacs of fluid that cushion the bones and cartilage known as the bursae. These conditions often develop due to overuse.
How Are Stiff Joints Treated?
If you are experiencing pain and stiffness in your joints, here are several lifestyle changes and treatment methods you can try at home.
One of the most effective ways to fight stiff joints is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet with foods that contain antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, omega-3s, and other nutrients that help reduce inflammation in the body. Some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet are:
- Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout
- Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower
- Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts
- Berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries
While adding the above foods into your diet, you should also try to avoid foods that can exacerbate the stiffness and pain in your joints, such as:
- Added sugars
- High amounts of sodium
- Refined grains
- Processed and red meats
Along with a nutritious and balanced diet containing anti-inflammatory foods, it may be beneficial to your joints to take supplements. One popular supplement that may support healthy joints is glucosamine, a natural compound in your body that builds and repairs cartilage.
Cartilage is a critical aspect of joint health because it functions as a cushion between bones and other structures. As we age, glucosamine production gradually slows, so taking supplements is an excellent way to relieve joint stiffness. Other favorable supplements for your joints include:
- Fish oil
- Vitamin D
Working with a physical therapist is another highly successful way to alleviate stiff joints. With physical therapy, you have the opportunity to work with licensed professionals who can craft personalized treatment plans for your unique condition. The purpose of completing physical therapy is to:
- Improve mobility
- Preserve the ability to perform daily activities
- Increase strength
- Enhance flexibility
- Encourage proper posture
Hot and Cold Therapy
If you are experiencing joint stiffness, both hot and cold therapy can be useful in treating your condition. Applying heat to your joints is able to:
- Promote healing
- Soothe stiffness
- Boost synovial fluid production
In contrast, ice therapy tends to be more valuable following a traumatic injury to diminish swelling from an overproduction of fluid in the joint.
Paired with your other courses of treatment, your healthcare provider may suggest trying anti-inflammatory pain medications to help with your limited mobility. In addition, your provider may recommend a topical medication to numb the area or oral medication.
When to See Rejuvinix for Stiff Joints
If none of the above treatments effectively relieve your joint stiffness, then it may be time to visit Rejuvinix. Rejuvinix specializes in non-surgical interventional pain management to help reduce joint stiffness. We offer numerous treatment options and therapies using the lubricants that naturally occur in the body to reduce friction and inflammation in our patients’ joints. Contact us today to learn if our minimally invasive therapies are suitable for you at a no-cost consultation.