A previous article discussed the ways that ex-athletes are more at risk of experiencing joint pain and how former sports professionals can find relief for the pain they’re feeling. To follow up on those key concepts, here is an explanation of how athletes who have experienced injuries that surround joints are more susceptible to joint pain and arthritis.
Vulnerability of Injured Joints
For the love and dedication to sports, athletes often tear ligaments and experience fractures that pass through joints and bruised cartilage. Ligament and bone damage affect the way that joints work, especially in overused joints like the wrists and knees.1
The repetitive movements of sports lead to physical stress and the erosion of cartilage. Over time, this erosion wears down the surfaces of joints and can cause inflammation and pain.2 Athletes who attempt to perform before properly building up their bodies are most at risk of damaging their joints during training.3,4
Preventing Injuries to Prevent Arthritis
Although athletes tend to be more prone to developing osteoarthritis than their sedentary peers, being active in sports certainly doesn’t mean that arthritis is inevitable. In fact, athletic individuals are often the healthiest people on the planet with unparalleled energy, longevity, and overall wellness.5,6
However, one of the best ways to prevent future arthritis symptoms as an athlete is to do one’s best to prevent injuries at the present time. It is important for athletes to practice proper form and wear all recommended safety equipment during practices, performances, and games.7,8 Stretching and warming up before playing can prepare the muscles, ligaments, and tendons for competition and reduce the risk of injury.
Athletes who have suffered an injury must also take the time to fully heal their bodies back to a normal condition before returning to the game.3,4 Rushing back into a sport with an injury that is not properly healed could cause serious long-term damage. However, the physical, mental, and emotional effects of exercise are well-documented, so athletes should not be afraid to try new ways to get active in the meantime and keep their bodies moving.8
Targeted Relief for Injured Areas
Powerful joint pain relief creams like JointFlex are designed to relieve minor arthritis pain, as well as muscle sprains, strains, backaches, cramps, and bruises. These are all common parts of life for athletes, so it’s important to find a relief strategy that works quickly and on-target. It is recommended to use this medicated cream twice to four times daily in order to feel the pain subside within a matter of minutes. Athletes who have suffered an injury may also benefit from physical therapy, gentle massage, and a diet of anti-inflammatory foods to continue living healthy and active lives.
REFERENCES FOR WHY ATHLETES ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ARTHRITIS IN INJURY ZONES
1. Campagne, D. (2017 December). Overview of fractures. The Merck Manual: Consumer Version. Retrieved November 11, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/fractures/overview-of-fractures.
2. Buckwalter, J. A. (2003 October). Sports, joint injury, and posttraumatic osteoarthritis. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 33, 578-588. Retrieved November 11, 2018 from https://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.2003.33.10.578.
3. Kraemer, W., Denegar, C., Flanagan, S. (2009 September). Recovery from injury in sport: Considerations in the transition from medical care to performance care. Sports Health, 1, 392-395. Retrieved November 11, 2018 from National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445177/.
4. Sports injuries need time to heal before student athletes play again. Reid Health. Retrieved November 11, 2018 from https://www.reidhealth.org/sports-injuries-need-time-to-heal-before-student-athletes-play-again/.
5. The benefits of playing sports aren’t just physical! Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved November 11, 2018 from https://health.gov/news/blog-bayw/2012/05/the-benefits-of-playing-sports-arent-just-physical/.
6. The health benefits of sport and physical activity. Sportanddev.org. Retrieved November 11, 2018 from https://www.sportanddev.org/en/learn-more/health/health-benefits-sport-and-physical-activity.
7. Sports injury prevention tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Sports-Injury-Prevention-Tip-Sheet.aspx.
8. Treating sports injuries. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved November 10, 2018 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/treating-sports-injuries.
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