When to see a doctor
‘Use it or lose it’: joint pains are often a result of wear and tear, malalignment (as occurs with osteoarthritis) or injury. Milder problems can be alleviated with gentle massage of the surrounding muscles, combined with a warming ointment.
It is worth seeing a doctor if several joints are affected at the same time, the joint concerned is severely swollen and hot or the pain is getting worse and has lasted for several weeks already. The doctor will then give you a more detailed examination and set out, depending on the cause, the treatment required – such as medication or physiotherapy. Physiotherapy teaches you how to the stabilise the joint concerned and protect it over the long term.
How to prevent joint pains
Adapt your exercise regime to what you can manage – there should be a balance between working and relaxing the area concerned. A balanced diet can help prevent inflammation too, including things like fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids. The latter can be found in oily fish like salmon, but also in nuts and vegetable oils. Vitamin D, calcium and magnesium can help too. They protect and strengthen bone, cartilage and muscle.
This health tip was written by Simon Heinis
who works as a physiotherapist at Merian Santé.