1134 GMT December 07, 2019
We all suffer a little bit with achy joints, from time to time. Whether it's an old injury rearing its head, or a bit of a stiff back from sitting in a chair too long, having a bit of a sore spot is no fun, according to the Telegraph.
According to a survey commissioned by natural joint care supplement Litozin+, over half of British adults aged between 16 and 64 are affected by joint pain over the summer months.
In addition, nearly a third of those aged between 55 and 64 said that they suffer with joint pain every day during the summer.
Although during the summer you might be prone to developing more swollen joints than usual, due to the problems caused by water retention in hot weather, going on holiday can be a help, rather more than a hindrance, said Steven Lau, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Benenden Hospital in Kent.
"It's probably through a combination of the warmer temperatures and lack of stress. With those who suffer with arthritis many say it is worse when the weather is cold and damp."
Joint pain isn't the only type of soreness — there are several different types, said Dr. Helen Webberley, the GP for Oxford Online Pharmacy.
The first are traditional "aches and pains, which may be caused by overdoing it at the gym, walking too far on the beach, using muscles that you're not used to using". The second, is wear and tear arthritis, or osteoarthritis. "This happens to everyone to some extent at some age, but the degree and severity of the pain varies from person to person."
The third is "invasive inflammatory arthritis," and this can include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthrtitis, and gouty arthritis.
But whichever one of these has hit you, there's got to be a solution. In the case of inflammatory arthritis, Webberley said that a blood test can help with diagnosis, although it doesn't remove the problem.
The solutions are simple, and fall into three categories: prevention, cure, and natural remedies.
1. Look after your weight
The heavier you are, clearly the more pressure is being put on your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight is recommended so as not to overload yourself.
2. Keep active
Keeping up and about will keep your joints moving, thus strengthening them at the same time. If you don't keep active, your muscles will weaken and your joints will suffer.
3. Stretch before and after exercise
If you're going for a run, and you don't usually, make sure to prepare your body and wind it down again when you've finished. If it's suddenly bike ride season with your grandchildren, bear that in mind and line up some gentle exercises in advance.
4. Know your limitations
Don't put pressure on yourself to run that marathon you've been promising yourself you'll do forever, if you don't think you can do it.
5. Remember you're not as young as you were this time last year
You might not want to admit it, but however old you are, your body is changing and might be reluctant to take the strain.
The key thing is 'RICE' - "when it comes to injury, a sprain or a strain, follow the R.I.C.E protocol within 48 hours," Webberley said.
Rest, ice, compression and elevation are the key to managing an injury, however minor, and getting you up and running again.
Go au naturel
A variety of natural solutions can be found too — and they are all heat-related. "Wheat packs in the microwave, deep heat rubs, hot water bottles and soothing hot baths" can all help to alleviate joint pain, as and when it occurs, said Webberley.
Our doctors' top tips for the over 50s
● Keep active, but listen to your body
● If you are starting a new regime, go slowly and gently — build up over time
● Swimming and pilates are good activities to take the weight off sore joints. "Pilates can also be very good at helpin with back pain, as it focusses on core stability exercises," Lau said
● Listen out for new and unusual symptoms
● See a doctor if you develop painful swollen joints
● Keep your weight at an even keel: going into older age at a healthy weight is vital
● Most importantly, keep moving. "Joints can stiffen quickly and keeping them mobile and supple is important," Lau said