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Joint inflammation, which causes joint pain, is your body’s reaction to an injury,
overuse or friction in the joints and soft tissues. It indicates that your body is
repairing itself from some irritant. Hence, the blood vessels in the affected area
dilate in size to allow more blood for healing with the white blood cells, which
flow in to fight any infection or irritant.
The causes of inflammation could be: injury to a joint structure or degenerative
diseases like arthritis (Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis). This may lead to the classic signs of inflammation: redness, localized heat, swelling, pain and loss of function. It is extremely important to take care of these signs at the right time or else it damages the structures permanently and causes chronic pain.
There is an immense amount of literature that supports the use of ice for pain and swelling. Usually, the conventional ice packs are used for the same purpose. This is a well-tolerated therapeutic option, which is highly effective and accessible Cryotherapy is the use of liquid nitrogen in vaporized form. With an extremely
cold temperature of -160 degrees exposed to the target area, it works six times
more efficiently than the ice packs in just 10 minutes of time. Being in gaseous
form, it penetrates deeper into the layers in which the ice pack is unable to do.
The purpose of cryotherapy is to promote dilation of the blood in areas exposed
to cold. It, thereby, increases blood flow and makes the cells work in a more
This is another treatment, which has been used for years to treat tender points and reduce inflammation. Back in the day, it used to be a time-consuming procedure, as it took almost an hour to deliver the recommended dosage. With upgraded technology comes the sophisticated high level Class IV laser or high-power laser that does the same job in merely 10 minutes. The process is painless and non-invasive. Laser therapy uses a process called photo-biomodulation, wherein the target area is exposed to red and near infrared light. This causes an increase in ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production and accelerates the repair processes of the cell by increasing cellular metabolism. It effectively reduces pain and inflammation by widening of the blood vessels, allowing increase in nutrients and oxygen along with increased white blood cell and antioxidants number for rapid repair process.
There is a tendency in patients to overuse or misuse a joint when it’s inflamed, while that is the time when it should be given some rest to avoid joint pain. Example, walking is not advisable when you have an acute pain with active swelling. Similarly, taking your joints to extreme ranges or massaging aggressively may increase the swelling at that time. This shows joint inflammation and hence, requires rest. This is the time when you should repose the joints, instead of going antagonistic with excessive exercises and stretching.
It is an established fact that your body is a reflection of what you eat. So is the case with joint health. Hence, it is extremely important to maintain a nutritious diet in order to treat joint inflammation. There are many foods that can help in reducing inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis. As a matter of fact, studies suggest that patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis report their diet directly impacts the severity of their symptoms. Some of the changes that are proven to influence the symptoms are: avoiding processed meat, artificial sugar, dairy and soda. Consuming leafy greens, nuts, fish for Omega-3, fruits rich in antioxidants like berries and whole grains. Protein for muscle building is another important aspect, which should not be ignored particularly when you’re exercising.
Joint inflammation can be a result of recurrent compression on the joints. Particularly, weight-bearing joints like knees. Being overweight loads the joints of the lower body beyond their limit and hence, results in irritation of soft tissue structures, causing pain and inflammation. This is why weight reduction becomes crucial. Following an exercise protocol recommended by a qualified physiotherapist, which takes care of your strength and flexibility is essential, and helps you take the load off the joints. Well-toned and flexible muscles help you maintain a good posture and distribute your weight evenly.