I don’t know about you, but I have personal barometers which tell me when the weather is going to change. Thanks to breaking several bones whilst growing up, and also a couple when old enough to know better, I am a reliable source of weather data for those around me. I can tell you more accurately than the weather forecast when it is going to rain for example. It is a neat trick, but I would rather I didn’t get joint pain at all. Unfortunately, that particular ship has sailed.
A lot of people get joint pains on one sort or another. Some of them have delightful whimsical names like Tennis Elbow and Housemaid’s knee. Despite their names, they are unpleasant to have to deal with. Not to mention painful.
Lots of things can cause joint pain. Infections, fevers, food allergies, diet deficiencies and liver problems can all cause joint pain. Not drinking enough water if you are an athlete can cause calcium crystals to develop in the joints and that can be SORE. Or if you have a tick bite it can develop into Lyme Disease. That can cause joint aching, swelling and inflammation. Psoriasis can also affect your joints, causing a deep ache. After all that, the broken bones method is not looking so bad.
However, most joint pain that we will experience will be down to wear and tear, arthritis or injury. Overuse of a particular joint (like your elbow and your knee) can inflame the individual parts that make up your joints. Muscles, tendons, ligaments and bursae, which are the tiny fluid filled sacs that provide lubrication between the joints. There is gout as well, which is where urea crystals form in the joints and cause some really bad pain. It is thought to be brought on by rich foods in your diet and is unfortunately becoming increasingly common in modern life. Henry VIII suffered from it. Might be one of the reasons he was so grumpy with everyone, especially his wives.
What can you do about aching joints? Well, the first thing is to…take a break. How is THAT for a blinding glimpse of the obvious. If a joint is hurting, stop using it for a bit. Once the pain has gone, gradually reintroduce the activity and keep going from there. Listen to your body. If it is shouting ouch, then stop hurting it!
Second thing is kill the pain. Unlike some herbally people, I am not going to suggest you exclusively use herbs to stop things hurting. Yes, some herbs will help – turmeric in a tea is supposed to work miracles for inflammation, but nothing works as well as ibuprofen. It is formulated to take down inflammation, so if it works, then USE it. Unless you have an intolerance to ibuprofen. In which case, turmeric tea might work for you.
The next advice is to do precisely what your Mum or Granny would suggest. Apply heat to the area. In the form of topical warming creams, or hot water bottles, or hot wheat bags, or hot cherry stone pillows. You can make your own herbal warming cream using cayenne pepper, chilli and ginger which does the same thing (and isn’t quite as assaulting on the senses as Ben-Gay or Deep Heat are.
Now… if these remedies don’t work, or if you had the pain for more than a week, you have given the joint a very hard knock indeed or your joints are all swollen all at the same time… then don’t be daft. Go and see your medical professional. There are no points for being a hero.