Does your body make a lot of noises every morning? Many of the sounds you hear from your joints are normal, but everyday joint discomfort does not have to be a normal sign of aging. Musculoskeletal problems can interfere with daily activities, but by taking a proactive approach to joint care and not ignoring the signs your body gives you, you can continue moving towards optimal joint health.
If you find yourself unable to do the activities you normally enjoy, you should see a physician to have your joints evaluated. Certain joint conditions can cause everyday activities such as brushing your hair, showering, and opening doors to become difficult. When this happens, you need to reach out to your doctor.
It is not uncommon to wake up with stiff muscles and joints in the morning, but if this stiffness doesn’t go away or takes a long time to heal, there may be a more serious problem to consider. When you cannot perform a daily function due to joint pain, the cause may be arthritis. You should visit your doctor to get a proper evaluation and treatment plan to restore mobility, flexibility, and quality of life.
Your immune system is designed to defend the body against both internal and external threats, but sometimes it acts erroneously and targets healthy cells and tissues, including the joints. The inflammation from autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can intensify at night, triggering higher levels of pain, which can disrupt sleep. It can also contribute to prolonged morning discomfort and joint stiffness.
A loss of sleep, even for a few short hours during the night, can, in turn, prompt unwanted immune responses, further increasing joint discomfort. If certain autoimmune conditions are left untreated, healthy joint tissues can continue to be attacked, leading to long-term damage, reduced mobility, joint deformities, and eventual disability. In fact, arthritis and other joint conditions are the leading causes of disability in American adults.
If it feels like your joints are catching or popping, this could mean that you have a meniscus tear, the cartilage in the joint has torn, or that bits of cartilage has broken off in the joint space. The cartilage between your joints wears down over time, leaving a larger, rougher joint surface. As bones in the joint rub together, you may hear a popping noise in addition to your joints catching.
Popping and catching associated with pain can be a symptom of early-stage degenerative or traumatic arthritis or a tendon issue. The cartilage may wear away completely if you ignore these signs, causing more serious and permanent mobility problems.
Occasional tingling or numbness is typically nothing to worry about, but if prolonged and without an apparent cause, there could be a more serious problem. Numbness or tingling, known as paresthesia, is most often caused by nerve compression or restricted blood flow to an extremity. It can also occur when a swollen joint compresses or irritates a nearby nerve.
Several conditions are linked to numbness in the extremities, so proper diagnosis is important for effective treatment. An underlying condition that requires treatment could be causing numbness, and if left ignored, the risk for severe joint discomfort and permanent nerve damage increases.
Joint swelling, redness in the area, or a section of skin that’s unusually warm to the touch are all signs of inflammation. If there has been no recent injury to the area, this swelling may be due to arthritis. Infection can also be a sign that the cartilage in the joint is breaking down. If left untreated, the cartilage may wear out completely.
Most joint conditions can be successfully treated when identified early, but if ignored, the risk of immobility increases, which can significantly impact your quality of life. Don’t let joint discomfort slow you down, and seek medical care if you experience any of these symptoms. The sooner the cause of your joint discomfort is identified, the better the chances are of successful treatment.
In addition to bringing these symptoms to your doctor’s attention, one of the most important parts of proactive healthcare is promoting joint health. One of the best ways to do this is by ensuring your body gets the nutrients it needs to support healthy joint function. Powerful joint-targeted ingredients that can help promote optimal joint health and function at any age include:
♦ AprèsFlex® Boswellia Serrata extract, a proprietary extract that has been clinically researched to both support joint health and aid joint discomfort.
♦ Zanthin® Natural Astaxanthin, which contains roughly 10-20 times more astaxanthin than standard krill oil, provides antioxidant support to reduce joint discomfort caused by typical oxidative stress.
♦ Different types of collagens, such as I, V, and X collagen, contain the same joint compounds and proteins essential for maintaining healthy joint and connective tissues, and type II Collagen, found naturally in cartilage and has been shown to help maintain healthy joints.
♦ Hyaluronic acid, which supports the viscosity of synovial fluid in the joints for pain-free movement.
Joint function can deteriorate over time, making it important for you to pay attention to any signs of distress your joints give you. Some joint ailments can be debilitating, but joint function can be maintained and even improved with the right approach. This approach starts with balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and joint-healthy nutrients to protect your joints and keep you moving.
Dr. Adam Kreitenberg
Dr. Adam Kreitenberg is dual board-certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine internship, residency, and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County Medical Center.