Doctors mean well. But many are practicing with outdated and limited information they learned years ago in medical school. This is especially true with chronic joint pain and arthritis.
In today’s article, we’re going to cover 4 hidden causes of joint pain that you may or may not be aware of. If these are new to you, don’t feel bad, because many doctors are unaware of these too!
Hidden Cause #1: “Healthy” Inflammatory Foods
We know unhealthy foods like candy and ice cream can cause inflammation—and as a result, contribute to more joint pain.
But what many people don’t realize is that foods considered to be “healthy” can cause inflammation too.
Case in point, this salad:
This salad contains more than 1 ingredient that could make your joint pain worse. Want to guess what they are?
First, we have tomatoes. Tomatoes contain a toxin called solanine. And too much solanine consumption can trigger inflammation.
Next, we have salad dressing. Dressing is easy to overlook when we’re drizzling it over a bowl full of healthy ingredients. But salad dressing contains oils such as safflower, corn, and peanut oil. These cooking oils contain omega 6 fatty acids. And consuming too many of these omega 6 fats can produce more inflammation.
A third surprising food is yogurt. While some yogurts are healthy in moderation, yogurts that contain too many saturated fats may be a problem. That’s because high levels of saturated fats are known to cause inflammation.
That’s not to say you can’t ever eat any of these healthy foods. Just keep in mind that they could have unintended consequences on your inflammation and joint pain.
Hidden Cause #2: Dehydration
Numerous studies report that 75% of American adults are chronically dehydrated. You probably know the classic golden rule is to drink at least 8 cups of water per day. Yet most Americans average just 2.5 cups per day.
Chronic dehydration is a problem for your joints. It has been linked to joint pain and muscle damage. And it can contribute to cartilage degradation too. Your cartilage tissue is up to 80% water. So if you’re chronically dehydrated, that’s less water available to keep your cartilage lubricated and supple.
Hidden Cause #3: A Sedentary Lifestyle
When you’re in agony, one of the last things you feel like doing is moving or exercising. Yet multiple studies confirm that staying physically active is crucial to relieving joint pain long-term. It makes sense when you think about it.
If you become sedentary, the supporting muscles of your joints become weak and deconditioned. This adds even more stress and pressure to your joints. And more pressure = more damage and discomfort.
To be clear, I’m not saying you should torture yourself with intense exercise regimens. Start off small. A short walk outside every day or even a couple laps around the house are better than nothing.
Hidden Cause #4: Knee or Hip Replacement
You might be shocked to see this on our list. After all, the whole purpose of these procedures is to get rid of pain, right?
Well, these surgeries don’t come without their risks. According to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, these new joints can loosen over time. And when these joints loosen, that can lead to intense pain. Many times a second surgery is required to fix this problem.
According to the AARP, up to 1 in 3 patients who undergo a knee replacement still experience chronic pain. And 1 in 5 patients report not being happy with the results of their procedure.
In some cases, these procedures do make sense. But make sure you’ve done your due diligence and considered all risks before going under the knife.
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