The human body has 360 joints responsible for the mobility of the body and responsible for bearing weight. These joints are made of complex structures: bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, and synovium. One of the largest and most important joints in the knee helps the body walk, lift, run, jump or crouch.
As you get older, you start feeling pain in joints that often get worse with age. The cartilage that works as a cushion between the joints and bone, protecting it from friction, begins to break down, restricting your mobility.
The most common culprits for joint pain are arthritis and tendinitis. Being overweight and aging causes your tendons to lose elasticity, which leads to body inflammation and stiffness. Other conditions that can cause joint pain include osteoarthritis, non-arthritis, lupus, gout, Lyme disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Causes you Aches and Pain at 40
To know how to limit Joint Pain, you need to know what exactly causes the pain. As you age, the strength and elasticity in your ligaments and tendons affect the flexibility of joints. As you hit 30-40, a study found that age flexibility starts dropping, and it keeps on going downhill as you age. Common conditions that can cause joint pain are:
1- Osteoarthritis (OA)
About 27 million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis. It happens when the shielding cartilage between joints and bone starts to break down. As a result, this causes pain in the hands, knees, and hips. Osteoarthritis is not a disease that can affect anyone. Instead, it’s a result of aging. Almost 33% of adults over 60 are afflicted by osteoarthritis.
2- Non-Arthritis joint pain
Non-arthritis is pain felt around the joint caused by inflammation of the tendon, the band of tissue that adjoins body muscles to bones. Most likely to strike people over 40, who are more prone to injury.
3- Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis can affect around 30% of individuals who have psoriatic in the first place. In this condition, you feel swelling, stiffness, and pain in your joints.
Gout is caused by increased levels of uric acid in the blood. Gout affects the big toe of your foot and makes it swollen that causes acute pain.
5- Lyme Disease
If you have Lyme, you should get your joint diagnosis and start treatment as soon as you can. The tick-borne illness usually affects one or two joints. The pain in joints caused by Lyme becomes bearable and less severe as time goes by.
Other causes that also induce pain in joints include rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, strains, and other injuries.
How to Limit Joint Pain?
How to Limit Joint Pain? The most timely treatment to limit the pain is a lifestyle change. Modify your life with the proper exercise alongside a medication that helps reduce stress and improve the mobility of body muscles.
Joint pain can range from mild to debilitating pain; acute joint pain mostly goes away after a few weeks. However, some chronic pain lasts for months. Some treatments can help limit the pain in joints. Your doctor will diagnose the condition and recommend the proper treatment.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin can help relieve the pain. However, they do have side effects, such as an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding.
Acetaminophen is also effective for mild pain if you don’t have swelling. Don’t take any medicine without caution; talk to your doctor if you feel any side effects after taking these medications. If you don’t feel any improvement after taking NSAIDs, then your doctor may prescribe opioid medication.
Opioids can only be used if your doctor prescribed them because they can cause drowsiness and constipation. Some antiepileptic drugs and muscle relaxants can also be used for joint and muscle pain.
2- Topical Agents
Arthritis cream, containing salicylate, helps reduce the pain in joints. Other topical agents such as capsaicin found in chili peppers help relieve the pain from arthritis. Capsaicin helps release the chemical called endorphins in your body which halts the pain. It also has some side effects; using capsaicin cream causes burning and stinging sensations in the area it is applied.
Some people don’t see any improvement in pain after using medication. For such people, the doctor may use injections:
- Steroids: Patients with arthritis and tendinitis show a positive response to steroid injection. Doctors can use steroid injection directly into joints for three to four months.
- Prolotherapy: In prolotherapy, a series of infections, mostly sugar, are injected into joints, tendons, and ligaments. Treatment involves around 20 shots given in 3-4 months. These injections heal the injured tissues.
4- Physical Therapy
If your condition is not that worse and you don’t want to take medication, then there is a solution for you as well. Work with a physical therapist to start activities and stretches that help recovers your joints and muscles from injury and improve body motion.
Using ultrasound, electrical nerve stimulation, and manipulation, your therapist incorporates the proper exercise for you in your therapy.
Patients who are overweight need to lose weight to reduce the pressure on their joints. Low impact exercises such as swimming and bicycling allow you to work out without impacting weak joints.
5- Alternative Treatment
- Research has shown taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements also have effective results for joint pain. These substances work like cartilage that becomes cushions between the bones and joints.
- Hot and cold therapy: Ice helps relieve pain and control swelling.
- Walking aids: Canes help offload the weight on swollen joints.
- Braces: Getting knee braces also aids in offloading knee pain and stress on joints.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Get a medical checkup like genetic testing to avoid the issue beforehand. Talk to your primary doctor when you start to feel the intense pain and stiffness in your joints. If the problem continues to get worse, then you need to see a rheumatologist.
FAQ: How to Limit Joint Pain In Your 40s
1- How do I keep my joints healthy at 40?
To keep your joints healthy and safe at 40, try to incorporate stretches and light exercise into your routine. Focus more on strengthening your upper and lower leg muscles and maintain a recommended weight.
2- What is the best vitamin for stiff joints?
Some natural products such as chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acid, SAM-e, curcumin, and glucosamine effectively relieve pain and stiffness.
3- Is it normal to get arthritis in your 40s?
Researchers have shown how joint pain is a result of arthritis and age-related conditions. And it’s more common in people above 30s-40s old.
4- Why does my body ache, and I feel tired all the time?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and other age-related conditions are responsible for why you are feeling tired all the time. Other factors such as being overweight also affect the body and cause pain and tiredness.
5- What are the normal aches and pains of aging?
Unless and until there is no visible injury and swollenness in your muscles, it’s normal to feel pain as you get old.