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Tips for reducing joint pain

Published On: Aug 23 2012 01:58:48 PM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2013 11:04:52 AM CDT
Knee pain

iStock / KenTannenbaum

By Melody Clearwater, Contributing writer

Joint pain and stiffness is not only common amongst older people. Joint pain is also common among athletes performing high-impact workouts, such as running and body-building. If left untreated, minor injuries in the cartilage of joints may lead to more extreme forms of arthritis as athletes grow older. Thankfully, there are common remedies to solve joint pain and discomfort during exercise.

Causes:

Most of the time, joint pain among athletes can be avoidable. Some common reasons why athletes develop joint pain are:

1) Failure to warm up adequately 2) Train too long or too often 3) Use too heavy weights and fewer repetitions 4) Don't take enough time off to recuperate from a heavy workout 5) Bad form during heavy lifts 6) Don't take in enough nutrients

Types of Joint Pain

However, despite athletes' many efforts to prevent damage to their joints, joint pain may be inevitable. There are many different types of joint pain athletes can suffer. Some examples include:

Arthritis There are many different forms of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is more common among athletes. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing down of cartilage tissue at the end of bones in the joint. If left untreated, the damage to the cartilage may build up over time. Chronic osteoarthritis has ended the career of many athletes.

Bursitis Much like cartilage, a sac called the bursae helps cushion joints and prevents friction during movement. These sacs may become inflamed or injured during exercise in a condition called bursitis.

Tendinitis Tendinitis is the most common joint ailment among athletes, but is the easiest to treat. Tendinitis is the inflammation of tendons supporting the joint due to overexercise or micro injuries.

Tips For Treating Joint Pain

Jello Surprisingly, collagen, which is one of the ingredients found gelatin, helps repair the damaged cartilage in joints. Collagen is a structural protein found in bones, tendons, and connective tissues. Research conducted at Ball State's Human Performance Laboratory showed gelatin to have a positive effect on joint pain and stiffness in athletes. In light of this information, Nabisco now markets Nutrajoint under the Knox gelatin brand. Nutrajoint does not only contain gelatin, it also contains other compounds that promote joint health such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Not all Nutrajoint supplements contain all these compounds, so the consumer may have some choice over what compounds he/she uses to treat his/her joint pain.

Cetyl Myristoleate A researcher at the National Institute of Health has recently discovered that Cetyl Myristoleate helps protect joints against chemicals that have been known to cause arthritis in animals. Research on this compound is not as solid as most would like, but some bodybuilders still have been known to use it.

Flax Oil Flax Oil, which is rich on Omega-3 fatty acids, helps reduce the inflammation of joints.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Glucosamine and Chondroitin are compounds found in cartilage. Dietary supplements containing these compounds are already popular among older people suffering from arthritis.

Keep Moving It is important for older people who are suffering from arthritis to keep moving. Studies have shown that runners have less cartilage damage as they grow older than people who are less active in their lifetime. Building up muscle around the damaged joint may help relieve joint pain. Some low-impact exercises that may help build muscle around joints include walking, swimming, stretching, bicycle riding, and stair climbing.