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October 11, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE | 13
By Orlando Griffith
NOW AND AGAIN everyone suffers from joint pain, and
as we age it is expected that we will experience aches
and pains due to the wear and tear of joints over time.
This wear and tear is inevitable; however, many of us are
experiencing pains at a much younger age. I recently
added a certification in Corrective Exercise to my port-
folio to cope with the growing issue of pain manage-
ment among my athletes and clients.
Too many people are in need of strength training and im-
proving their general wellbeing, but are afraid of experi-
encing more pain, so they'd rather adjust to a life with pain.
This shouldn't be, therefore in this week's column I'll dis-
cuss some tips on managing the issue of joint pain and
how to recognise when it can be treated with simple ex-
ercise techniques, or if you should refer to another profes-
sional who specialises in care and prevention of injuries.
First, we need to understand the difference between
chronic and acute pain. People experiencing chronic pain
in their back, knee, elbow, ankle, etc, that lasts more than
three days, should seek care and attention from a sport
medical professional or a physiotherapist, occupational
therapist, orthopaedist, even a massage therapist. They
all should be able to assist in some way, or refer you to
another, depending on the severity of the pain. Acute
pain; pain that may last a day or two that frequently oc-
curs after physical activity, can be treated by the profes-
sionals as well. However, you yourself can manage these
aches and pains with proper muscle management,
strength and conditioning and other recovery methods
like icing and stretching. Generally, the source of your pain
can be an indication of dysfunction elsewhere, for exam-
ple: most times knee pain and back pain is due to an issue
at the hip, and not having strong enough or functioning
butt muscles can be the culprit. With all this being said,
it still may sound weird if you're an active person that
trains frequently to still have issues with your joints.
"Wasn't exercise supposed to keep me away from pain?"
Well, yes and no. Doing too much of one thing can leave your
joints vulnerable to acute pain, and if ignored; it then turns
into chronic pain. Also, not warming up adequately and not
taking your joints through a full range of motion before and
after training puts you at risk as well. Lifting with poor tech-
nique or too heavy too often can also hurt your joints.
Some common manifestations of pain are as follows:
• Tendonitis --- The most common type of joint pain and
the easiest to treat. "Itis" tells us it is a problem of in-
flammation. This can be caused by micro-trauma, sur-
rounding muscle dysfunction, and overuse. Tendonitis
is quite annoying, but the right treatment and time it
will go away.
• Bursitis --- In our joints there are small sacks of fluid
called the bursae; their job is to cushion the joints and
prevent friction between bones. Sometimes the sacks
get inflamed due to overuse or poor technique. It fre-
quents areas like the elbow and shoulder. Again, with
treatment, it can be remedied.
• Arthritis --- The two common forms are osteoarthritis
and rheumatoid arthritis, and between the two, os-
teoarthritis is the most common. Arthritis is caused by
the wear and tear of joints, characterized by the dete-
rioration of smooth cartilage at the ends of bones.
Once the cartilage becomes rough, causing more fric-
tion, more pain occurs, and if left untreated it can be
If you're already active and aren't found to have any of
the above issues, foam rolling your large muscles in your
legs, glutes and lower back can release tight muscles,
giving relief to achy joints. Icing the joint if there is
swelling will help, but it's best to figure out the source
of the problem rather than be reactive to the problem.
Strength training with a certified professional that un-
derstands sport performance will help you develop the
right routines for warming up. Stretching after training
and strength training to be better at your activity, and
getting a massage now and again will ensure the fluidity
of movement after treatment.
If you have any issues with achy joints, please feel free
to drop me a line. This article gave a few general guide-
lines as to some of the root causes, but every circum-
stance is different and getting clarity to your situation
won't hurt. I'm here to help. Good luck!
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