Do you notice yourself arching your back or rubbing the back of your neck before getting out of bed each morning? Do you have to wait for a couple of minutes and stretch your legs before you get up and get out of bed? While it is normal to feel some aches as you age, today people even in their early 40s have begun to notice joint pain and neck pain that has lasted for prolonged periods, i.e. more than 3 months. These pains are generally indicative of something more serious like osteoarthritis or gout and this is evident in the numbers. More than 180 million people in India suffer from arthritis and the country is said to become the osteoarthritis capital of the world with over 60 million cases by 2025. So, what are some of the causes for joint pain and neck pain?
- Increasing age Joints tend to wear and tear with age. The cartilage cushioning the joints begins to deteriorate. This leads to Osteoarthritis in case of joint pain and Cervical Spondylosis in case of neck pain.
- OveruseSometimes, daily activities like being on a mobile for too long, working in an assembly line, etc. compel us to repeat one motion over and over again. This puts immense stress and strain on the body part in use and often lead to pain in the joint and restricted motion.
- Being overweightBeing overweight puts additional stress on weight-bearing joints like the knees. Excessive weight also affects the neck by straining the lower back and pulling on the spine. It also leads to bad posture which pushes you forward and causes your back to curve thus putting more pressure on the neck and shoulders.
- Sedentary lifestyleBeing hunched in front of a computer all day, slouching or sitting for long hours watching your favourite series could increase the risk of joint and neck pain. Inactivity reduces circulation and leads to muscle pain, stiffness and weakness making your body more prone to fractures and breaks.
- Prolonged pain and inflammation Pain that lasts between three to six months or longer is chronic pain. If you experience pain whether you’re moving your joint or not, it is advisable to consult your physician.
- StiffnessJoint stiffness is felt generally in the knees and neck right after waking up and can affect mobility and range of motion. If it lasts more than 30 minutes on waking up, it is advisable to seek medical attention.
- Reduced flexibility and mobility Conditions like osteoarthritis causes wear and tear of the joints.
- Clicking and popping soundsJoint popping that occurs repeatedly could be due to a cartilage tear or degenerated cartilage. Muscle tightness in the neck may lead it to grind with movement thus causing a popping sound.