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Best ways to help ease joint/muscle pain and skin irritations

Joint pain:

Short term:

Joint pain can occur at any age and is a very common issue for people. It can stem from an injury, a lack of exercise leading to stiffness or from medical conditions such as arthritis. The degrees of pain can vary throughout the day and its impact on daily life can vary drastically from person to person.

Short term term joint injuries caused by twists and falls can be treated by following the RICE approach.

Rest - Take the pressure off the injured joint for up to 72 hours

Ice - Place a wrapped icepack on the injured area for up to 15 mins every 2-3 hours for the first 48 hours of the injury occurring to reduce pain and swelling

Compression - Lightly compress the injured joint using a compression sleeve, this is used to provide protection, reduce swelling and support for the joint as it begins to recover

Elevation - Keep the injured joint above the level of your heart as much as possible to further reduce swelling. Wrists can be held up in slings or ankle can be propped up by a tower of pillows

Combine the RICE method with an anti-inflammatory product such as ibuprofen and this pain should subside over a matter of days. If it does not then speak to your doctor.

Long term:

More long term health issues such as arthritis can make dealing with joint problems slightly more difficult to treat and requires a routine that keeps the joints moving regularly to help manage the frequency and intensity of flair ups. Following a basic stretching regime every morning and putting the joints and muscle surrounding them through the full range of motion will keep them loose and stop them from tightening up which in turn reduces the likelihood of flair ups.

To begin with do very little, it may feel like you aren't gaining anything from it but its important not to overdo it early and push beyond your limits. This is because placing too much stress on tight or under worked muscles in a short period of time can result in injury. Striking a balance between your rest time and your exercise time is vital in managing the issues you have.

Osteoarthritis sufferers will benefit from non weight bearing activities that help keep the joints moving but reduce the amount of force being put through the joint. A stationary exercise bike is a great piece of affordable equipment that be used to help manage osteoarthritis from home.

Making a few lifestyle changes can help reduce some of the pain through certain joints. Being overweight will mean your knees and ankles will be forced to carry more weight, by cutting back on high fat foods and increasing exercise levels this will cause you to lose weight plus strengthen the muscles and tendons around key joints. As mentioned above non weight bearing activities may be best as this will reduce the amount of force going through the joint whilst exercising. Cycling and aqua aerobics are forms of exercise that will burn calories but are also more forgiving on the joints plus can have a social element to them as well, making them more fun and can increase motivation to keep going.

It is also important to consume enough water and healthy oils to help keep the fluid around the joints properly lubricated. Sugary drinks can have the opposite effect and can cause inflammation of the joint so consider removing those from your diet. In addition to this, making sure you get enough sleep is vital in helping the body properly repair the damage caused to the joint in question.

Skin Irritations (bedsores):

Bedsores or pressure sores can occur when someone becomes bedridden and cannot move around comfortably without assistance or has little to no sensitivity to pain. They tend to appear when areas of the skin are put under pressure for prolonged periods of time such as lying in bed or sitting in the same place.

Bedsores can become very painful and infected if not treated quickly and correctly. The best ways to prevent pressure sores from occurring are frequently turning and repositioning the person. Purchasing a specialised mattress that increases air flow into the mattress or more evenly distribute body weight can also help. Using quality skin care products on the effected areas can also help stop or slow any broken skin from becoming infected.



 

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