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Joint Pain and Women
Everyone has an ache or pain from time to time, whether it be a minor shoulder ache or a knee ache. Researches reveal that women experience these symptoms more regularly and frequently in more grave ways than males. This gap begins for several reasons, including the likelihood that women will feel joint discomfort more than males. Hormone swings may make them more vulnerable and have certain physiologic limitations.
Estrogen and Joint Pain
Female hormones are responsible for contributing to women's greater pain sensitivity. Before the start of periods or during their periods, many women with OA, RA, lupus, and fibromyalgia experience an increase in joint discomfort. It is probably because a woman's estrogen levels drop just before menstruation and then rise again once the period is over. It is believed by many that estrogen protects against pain.
It reaches its highest point during pregnancy, likely to shield women from the agony of childbirth. According to some studies, 80 percent of RA-afflicted women have a remission of their symptoms during pregnancy and a flare-up when their estrogen levels drop after giving birth. Additionally, given that autoimmune diseases like RA and lupus are more prevalent in women throughout the childbearing years, reproductive hormones are thought to play a role in the increased frequency of autoimmune disorders in women.
The female anatomy and joint pains
However, hormones are only one aspect of the picture. There is a possibility that the female brain is designed to experience pain. Endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, are believed to function more efficiently in males than in women.
According to research, when exposed to painful stimulation, females release less brain chemical dopamine. Endorphins can't operate properly without dopamine.
Likewise, some types of joint discomfort may be caused by anatomical differences in women. For instance, osteoarthritis of the knee is more common among women. One theory is that women are more likely to be flexible and loose-jointed than men, which causes more movement in that region and raises the possibility that the kneecap will rub against the bones below it. Osteoarthritis symptoms around the knee may result from this.
Medicines for joint pains
Some drugs used to treat joint pain affect women differently than they do in the case of males. For instance, changes in hormone levels can decrease the amount of medication circulating in the bloodstream, necessitating a higher dose for women than men. Additionally, because female digestive systems are slower, some drugs (like painkillers) require longer to transit through the digestive tract before being fully absorbed. Additionally, as a woman's pain threshold rises just before her period, additional painkillers are required at this time of the month.
Treatment for joint pains
Though there is no complete treatment for the pain, there are ways to help relieve the woman suffering from joint pain. A simple daily exercise routine or the use of over-the-counter medications can sometimes make the pain go away. Pain is often a sign that it needs to be treated using medications or surgery in extreme cases.
Simple at-home remedies, including using an ice pack or heating pad on the affected area for brief intervals several times daily, help combat pain. Taking a bath in a tub full of warm water can be relaxing.
Strength and function can be got back by exercising. The optimum aerobic exercise is low-impact, such as walking or swimming. Individuals engaged in workouts or high-demanding sports might decrease their movements or shift to low-demanding practices. Consult with a doctor before you begin any exercise regime.
If necessary, weight loss may also be advised to minimize the load on joints.
Anti-inflammatory medicines (ibuprofen) and acetaminophen may reduce discomfort. Although both these medications are available without a prescription, greater doses can be required. To find out if this is a good option for you if you have a history of stomach ulcers, renal illness, or liver disease, consult your doctor.
One must keep in mind that our bodies react differently to one medicine. One might be suitable for one individual, while it might not be the same for the other person. It is especially true for medications sold without a prescription. When taking any medication, follow your doctor's instructions and let them know if you experience any adverse effects.
Ointments or gels that can be massaged into the skin over the troubled joint area are examples of topical therapies that can help reduce discomfort. Some pain-relieving medicines can be bought without a prescription or over-the-counter, respectively.
Dietary supplements, such as glucosamine, may aid with pain relief. Before using any over-the-counter supplements, consult a physician.
How to get relief from joint pains?
Surgery is the most viable option if the joint pain is severe and does not go away with medication, physical therapy, or exercise. Please discuss this with the doctor to ensure that a procedure makes sense.
There are numerous surgical alternatives, including −
Arthroscopy- An arthroscope, or a small, flexible, fiberoptic tool, is inserted into the joint during an arthroscopy operation to treat cartilage damage or remove bone chips from the joint or the area around it.
Joint replacement- When the cartilage that cushions and shields the ends of the bones gradually wear away, surgery may be required to replace the joint if other therapies are unsuccessful. The joints in the Hip, knee, and shoulder joints are all treated in this manner.
An artificial joint composed of plastic or metal is implanted after the surgeon partially removes the patient's bone. Most patients experience long-lasting pain alleviation after this sort of surgery, which has excellent results.
What are the concerning symptoms of joint pains?
Joint pain symptoms might range from minor to incapacitating. Without cartilage, bones move together directly against one another. It leads to pain in individuals. Some symptoms include −
Stiffening or enlargement of a joint
Pain during movement
Reddened and hot joint
Increasing difficulty while bending or straightening a joint
Clicking, snapping, and grinding noises when one is moving any joint
Women can improve their chances of finding relief and receiving the finest medical care by learning how joint pain affects them. It will help them address the pain effectively and deal with it in the best way possible.
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