Stiff joints often come with age, making it a little harder to get out of bed in the morning, or rise from a chair you've been sitting in for a spell. Joint stiffness can be mild and only affect you for a short time each day, or it can be severe enough to reduce your mobility, especially if your joint stiffness is accompanied by pain and inflammation.
Age isn't always the primary culprit behind stiff joints. It can be caused by a range of conditions, including arthritis and bursitis. Being overweight or eating a diet high in foods that promote inflammation can also impact your joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common cause of joint stiffness and pain, affecting more than 1.5 million Americans, most of them between the ages of 30 and 60. A chronic inflammatory disorder and autoimmune disease, RA causes your immune system to attack the lining of your joints. Over time, RA can cause deformities in the joints and erosion in the associated bones. While there is no cure for RA, it can be managed with medication, supplements, diet, and certain lifestyle changes.
Other common causes of joint stiffness include:
Osteoarthritis, or OA, is caused by wear and tear on the joints as cartilage wears away through use. OA most commonly affects the joints in the knees, hips, fingers, neck, and back and can cause stiffness, pain, swelling, and cracking sounds when you move the joint.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to attack itself. Lupus can attack joints and cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. Lupus is chronic, which means it can't be cured, but treatments and lifestyle changes can help you manage lupus and reduce the pain and stiffness associated with it.
Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, which are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that serve as padding for the bones, ligaments, and muscles in the joints. Bursitis most commonly affects the elbow, shoulder, and hip, although it can also strike the knee, ankle, and bone of the big toe. Bursitis is typically temporary, and treatment involves resting the joint for several weeks.
Gout, which can come on suddenly, causes pain and tenderness in the joints. Any joint can be affected by gout, which is a type of arthritis. Although symptoms of gout are treatable, most people who have gout must deal with recurring bouts throughout their lifetime.
How to best address joint stiffness depends on its underlying causes. Here are some ways to find relief from recurring joint stiffness and pain.
Use a hot or cold compress. Apply an ice pack to the stiff joints for 15 minutes a few times a day to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling and help the joint move more freely. Heat applied to a stiff joint helps relax the muscles and joints as well as increase circulation.
Use OTC medication. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are all effective for reducing mild joint pain and are commonly recommended for people suffering from arthritis. However, it's best not to rely on these medications for long-term relief, since they have a number of side effects.
Exercise. Exercise helps increase joint mobility and reduce stiffness. It also helps you lose extra weight to reduce joint pain and stiffness. Low-impact exercises like yoga and swimming are particularly good for the joints. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best types of exercise for you.
Take a supplement. A variety of supplements have been clinically proven to help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Fish oil, glucosamine sulfate, and flaxseed are known to help reduce inflammation and ease joint stiffness.
Prostavol Advanced Joint Support is another powerful supplement whose formula has been shown to help reduce joint stiffness and pain, increasing your range of motion. Ingredients include glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin, boswellia, turmeric, and bromelain, which are effective and safe for daily use.
Don't let your joint pain slow you down. A proactive approach to reducing the stiffness of your joints will improve your quality of life and help you stay flexible, strong, and mobile.
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