Do you wake up in the morning with soreness in one or perhaps even both of your knees? Or maybe you have a shoulder that tightens up when the weather starts to look like rain? Or worse yet, you have aches that are with you of all the time, never quite going away completely. Believe it or not, lower back and joint pain are two of the most commonly reported medical conditions in the United States, numbering in the tens of millions of cases annually. So if you do suffer from this type of pain, what might be causing it and is there anything you can do about it?

What Could Be Behind Your Joint Pain?

As the body ages many people often find that the minor (or non-existent) aches of their younger days are gradually becoming a bit more pronounced with each passing year. But standard wear and tear is not always the culprit. Unfortunately, joint pain may stem from one of dozens of different possible sources ranging from Lyme disease or bursitis to bone cancer or leukemia. The most common source of joint pain is arthritis, often associated with aging, but it could also simply be a case of overuse or prolonged exertion.

In many cases, minor joint discomfort is manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers, rest, massage therapy, or frequent sessions with an ice pack or heating pad. For a more natural approach, you might try supplementing your diet with fish oil, using a topical capsaicin-based cream, or modifying your lifestyle to become more active and also drop some unneeded weight (both of which have been shown to reduce the joint pain associated with arthritis).

Of course, if your pain is severe or lasts several days, is paired with swelling and/or tenderness, or is the result of some kind of injury you should seek out professional medical attention as soon as possible.