Joint pain is one of the many health problems former alcoholics may experience after giving up the habit. Those who abuse alcohol and develop problems with their joints may wonder if there is a way to treat the ancillary damage. The answer is yes; there are treatment options offering pain relief.
Understanding the Link Between Alcohol Abuse and Joint Pain
Alcohol abuse can harm various parts of the body, including the joints. Alcohol causes dehydration, damaging the cartilage crucial for smooth joint movement, which leads to inflammation and joint pain. Alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb and utilize essential nutrients for joint and bone health.
Alcohol messes with the body’s process of making new bone cells, or osteoblasts, and inhibits the available ones from mending and maintaining the bones (their function). Thus, the bones become less dense and robust, compromising their mechanical functionality and causing osteonecrosis (or bone death). In severe osteonecrosis cases, the bone deteriorates, and the surrounding cartilage collapses into the dead bone area. At this point, joint replacement surgery is the only way to ease the pain and regain mobility.
Treatment Options for Joint Problems Caused by Alcohol Abuse
Joint pain can be debilitating. It affects your quality of life, causing discomfort and limiting mobility. However, medical advice from experienced orthopedic joint specialist Frederick Buechel, Jr., M.D., at the Robotic Joint Center can help you reclaim your active lifestyle. He will thoroughly evaluate the extent of joint damage and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
The Robotic Joint Center offers solutions for alcohol-induced joint problems. These may include non-surgical or surgical procedures like ozone injections, medications or robotic joint replacement surgery. The extent of damage will dictate which treatment is necessary.
In addition, lifestyle changes like regular exercise, proper nutrition and weight management can significantly improve joint health, thereby reducing joint pain and promoting healing.
Prevention and Long-Term Joint Health
Prevention is always better than a cure. Therefore, it is essential to adopt healthy habits to prevent joint problems from returning or worsening and to promote long-term joint health. For example:
- If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. The recommended limits are one drink within 24 hours for women and two for men.
- Eat a balanced diet high in essential nutrients for joint health, such as calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avoid processed foods, sugary beverages and excessive caffeine.
- Include an exercise routine in your schedule. Consistent physical activity helps to strengthen muscles, improve joint flexibility and maintain a healthy weight. Incorporate various exercises, including aerobic workouts, strength training and flexibility conditioning.
- Avoid smoking because it can contribute to joint pain and inflammation.
If you feel like your joint problems are not going away, do not ignore them. Instead, contact Robotic Joint Center to discuss those issues, get treated and learn how to keep your joints healthy over the long term.