Being Inactive Can Cause Your Joint Pain
Everyone knows that sports and exercise can cause joint pain, but there are a lot of causes many people never think about. We’ll review four of the common activities that cause joint pain: smoking tobacco, sitting still or lying down for long periods of time, doing too many repetitive motions, and overusing painkillers.Sitting still and lying down for too long can cause joint pain. This seems counter intuitive since joint pain can also be exacerbated by exercising at too high of an impact. When you don’t move around, you’re not exercising your muscles. This can cause your muscles to weaken over time. Muscles provide much needed cushioning and protection for swollen joints, so not maintaining them can cause greater pain. There is a fine balance between too much exercise and not enough, and this will be different for every person.
Smoking tobacco has also been known to cause joint pain for decades. This may involve smoking traditional cigarettes, but vaporizing tobacco or even pure nicotine has been linked to joint pain. Doctors are still not completely sure why tobacco causes joint pain, but there is a very close link. Not only can smoking cause joint pain, but it can make drug treatments for joint pain less effective.
A third cause of joint pain is repeating the same motion over and over. This can even be typing on a computer keyboard for long periods of time without a break. While many people do not think of typing as a form of exercise, it is exercising the joints in your hands and arms. This disproportionately wears on your joints, triggering pain for people who are predisposed to joint issues. This isn’t just limited to typing. Even doing too many of the same stretches for your joint pain can be worse, so make sure you’re keeping track of how many times you make the same movement.
The last activity that onsets joint pain is using too many painkillers. Obviously, when someone is in pain, Tylenol or Advil is one of the first logical things to try. After all, these are known to be non-addictive and relatively free of side effects. However, overuse of these over the counter medicines can cause the user to develop a tolerance to them, making joint pain worse over time. They are not addictive drugs, but it can be hard to tell if you’ve developed a tolerance.
There are many daily triggers of joint pain. Ask Dr. Burke if one of your normal activities may be causing your pain. Dr. Burke can answer any questions about whether some daily activities you do could be a contributing factor.