Monday, April 30, 2018

Four Simple Ways to Address Morning Soreness

Even after a solid eight hours of sleep, sometimes you still wake up feeling stiff and sore. And while a hot shower sounds enticing, the thought of actually getting into that shower doesn’t. If you’re one of the millions of people living with joint pain, the ache can set in long before the day begins.

So why does this happen? As you age, your bones begin to degenerate and the cartilage protecting and buffering your joints becomes drier and less porous. During sleep, your muscles relax and your circulation slows, as do the fluids lubricating your joints and cartilage. The less fluid available for lubrication, the stiffer your joints become. And since it can take some time for fluids to seep back into your joints in the morning, the result is stiffness and pain.

Whether you’re living with arthritis, a sports injury, back pain, or any number of other musculoskeletal conditions, joint pain in the morning can shape your entire day. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to make mornings a little easier on your joints.

1. Get Enough Sleep

This seems obvious, but many people people don’t realize how important sleep is to their health and wellbeing. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a whopping 35% of adults don’t get enough sleep.

When you get less than seven hours of sleep, the cost is often sore joints in the morning. Regularly missing out on sleep also increases your risk of developing any number of other chronic diseases and conditions, including stroke and heart disease. So embrace your beauty sleep—it does your body good.

2. Position Yourself Properly

Along with the amount of sleep you get, pay attention to how you sleep. A pillow that’s too soft or too firm can place undue strain on your neck, forcing your spine into uncomfortable positions.

Similarly, pay attention to your mattress. One that’s too soft can aggravate joint pain because there isn’t enough support, which can prompt restlessness and, ultimately, sleeplessness.

3. Take a Soothing Bath Before Bed

A warm bath is a great way to relax before bed, helping you sink into a restful sleep more easily. But the water also helps soothe your muscles and joints, leading to less pain and stiffness come morning. Trying adding Epsom salts to your bath to help with inflammation and soften your skin.

4. Sleep Tight (and Warm)

When the temperature drops, your joint pain can feel worse. No matter what the weather is doing outside, your body will be far more responsive and your muscles more supple when they’re toasty in bed. Always keep an extra blanket handy and keep your feet and toes under the covers. A pair of snuggly bed socks can help keep them warm if you find you often kick off the covers.

If joint pain is making your morning—and the rest of your day—hard to endure, it might be time to consider other non-surgical options. Stem cell therapy uses the body’s own regenerative abilities to help bring relief and healing to patients with joint pain. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy might help make your mornings a little brighter.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Four Common Misconceptions about Joint Pain

Joint pain is a common condition, but it’s also commonly misunderstood. Whether you experience it or not, it’s helpful to understand what joint pain is and what it isn’t. Here are four common misconceptions about arthritis and joint pain that you may have been holding for years.

Misconception 1: Arthritis only affects the elderly

It’s true that as you age, your risk of developing arthritis increases. Nearly half of all adults aged 65 or older have arthritis. But contrary to popular belief, arthritis doesn’t just affect older adults.

While arthritis pain can worsen with age, the condition typically gets diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50. In fact, two thirds of arthritis patients are under 65—and that includes around300,000 children. Kids as young as one can develop a type of arthritis called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which can be a serious condition.

Misconception 2: Exercise is bad for joint pain, rest is good for joint pain

You may not feel like exercising much when you have joint pain. But staying active is actually key to managing your joint pain.

Exercising moderately for at least five days out of every week helps relieve stiffness and discomfort in the joints. It also strengthens your muscles and helps you sleep better—both important factors for healthy joints. Exercise also helps you lose weight, which eases the pressure on your joints and can significantly reduce your pain.

Walking, biking, and swimming are some of the best forms of exercise for people with joint pain because they’re relatively low-impact and don’t put much pressure on your joints. Talking to your doctor before you start a new exercise regime is always a good idea and helps you tailor your activities to your unique needs.

Still, you might hear people telling you that you need rest while you’re exercising your joint pain away. While you definitely want to be getting enough sleep and shouldn’t push yourself too hard, remaining sedentary is a sure-fire way to make your joint pain worse. Instead, try stay active and stretch regularly, but remember to stop if your pain suddenly increases.

Misconception 3: If you're active and healthy you won't get joint pain

Unfortunately, even the most active and healthy people can develop joint pain. While maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk of developing osteoarthritis and gout, it won’t necessarily prevent you from getting arthritis or experiencing other forms of joint pain.

Active, healthy people can still injure themselves through overuse or sports accidents, so remember to stretch and look after yourself, even when you’re feeling fine. And some forms of arthritis are genetic, which means you might develop the condition even if you exercise and eat healthily. Luckily, there are many ways that you can manage your pain and continue living a full and vibrant life. 

Misconception 4: If you have arthritis, there’s nothing you can do about it

While there isn’t currently a cure for arthritis, there are plenty of things you can do to manage your condition and lessen the pain. Stay active, eat healthy foods that reduce inflammation in the joints, and practice self-care methods to take care of yourself and feel whole. You can also consider alternative therapies like stem cell therapy.

Stem cell therapy has helped many patients experience long-lasting relief from joint pain, including arthritis pain. This innovative treatment option is safe and minimally-invasive. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy is right for you.