Joint Pain

joint pain causes

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What Is Joint Pain?

The skeletal system provides a framework and support system for soft tissues and internal organs. Although it is inherently rigid, it also offers a great deal of flexibility and mobility. This mobility is made possible by the joints. A joint is an interface between two or more bones supported by connective tissues like cartilage, ligaments, and tendons in order to facilitate a range of movements. Joints can be of different types such as hinge joints or ball-and-socket joints.

Like any other part of the body, your joints too are susceptible to injury and disease. When this happens, whether in the form of infection, inflammation, degenerative disease or trauma, you are likely to develop some amount of pain in the affected joint or joints. A single joint may be affected or more. Such joint pain is known as arthralgia. Illnesses like arthritis can cause pain in several joints at a time and this tends to be a chronic condition. However, if you are suffering from an infection, the pain may be localised and can be cured by treating the infection.

 

Why Am I Suffering From Joint Pain?

 

joint pain causesThere can be a wide range of causes for pain in the joints.

Some possibilities include injury, infection, immune disorders, allergic reactions, degenerative diseases, endocrine disorders, nutritional deficiencies, hemorrhage, bleeding disorders, and surgical trauma.

Sometimes, such pain is an outcome of cancer.

The underlying problem may have to do with the bones themselves or with the connective tissues of the joints.

The problem may be localized, systemic or a whole body disease.One of the most common causes of pain in the joints is arthritis which involves inflammation and swelling of joints, making movement painful and limited. The term arthritis does not refer to a specific illness. Rather, it is an umbrella term for a variety of disorders of the joints that produce symptoms including inflammation and joint pain. The inflammation can have varied origins, whether as a result of infection, or autoimmunity.

Sometimes, bones may be injured as a result of fractures. Alternatively, the patient may have degeneration or death of bone tissue as a result of avascular necrosis. Bone cancer is another possibility. All of these conditions are known to produce joint pain.

Here is a list of potential causes for joint pain or arthralgia:

  • Sprains and strains.
  • Bursitis.
  • Dislocation of the joint.
  • Gout.
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
  • Haemophilia.
  • Leukemia.
  • Inflammatory disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Infection such as Lyme disease.
  • Damage to bones.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Osteomyelitis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Paget’s disease of bone.
  • Complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Meralgia paresthetica.
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica.
  • Pseudogout.
  • Psoriatic arthritis.
  • Reactive arthritis.
  • Postviral arthritis.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Gonococcal arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Septic arthritis.
  • Rickets.
  • Sarcoidosis.
  • Tendinitis.

 

What Are The Symptoms?

joint pain symptomsDepending on the actual cause of the pain, the joint pain itself may be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms.

In fact, joint pain is actually a symptom of a deeper problem in the body and not a disease in itself.

Usually, patients complain of pain that makes it difficult to move the joint normally.

There may some amount of warmth in the affected joint, some swelling and stiffness as well. Some of the most commonly affected joints include the shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, ankles and those of the fingers.

 

What Are Some Potential Complications?

Pain in the joints and the accompanying joint stiffness makes it difficult to achieve the normal range of motion for that joint. This means that the person’s mobility may be affected, depending on which joint or joints are involved. Usually, when the hips and knees are affected, the patient finds it difficult to walk or bend or sit comfortably. Similarly, when the fingers are affected, it is not easy to flex them and perform fine motor tasks as one might normally do.

When the pain is severe, the patient may not be able to move the joint/s or the associated limb/s at all. This can make it difficult to perform normal everyday tasks and it may have a detrimental impact on the patient’s social life and professional life. Depending on the cause of the pain, the patient may even be left with a permanent deformity in the joint.

 

How Is Joint Pain Diagnosed And Treated?

 

joint pain treatmentIf you feel you are suffering from painful joints, you should visit a doctor to find out the nature of the problem and how to treat it.

Your doctor will likely begin with a physical examination and ask you about your medical history.

For instance, if you have recently recovered from a bout of dengue fever, this may explain why you are suffering from joint pain. In other words, it may be a case of postviral arthralgia.

 

By assessing your combination of symptoms, the doctor may be able to narrow down the list of possible ailments.If you are displaying signs of infection such as fever, then you will also be asked to take a blood test so that the pathogen can be identified.

In such cases, patients may need to be treated with antibiotics or antiviral drugs. Medications can also help to ease the pain, swelling, and inflammation. Until their condition improves, the patient may also need an aid like a walker to help them remain mobile and active.

In some cases, particularly where degeneration of the joints is observed, the doctor may advise surgery for joint replacement. Some of the most common procedures under this category include hip and knee replacement surgeries. Following this, patients will be advised to embark on physiotherapy to help regain joint function and mobility.

 

Treatment & Prevention

Joint pain caused by arthritis can be treated only if the joint inflammation is caused by an infection. In all the other cases, joint pain is mostly managed by a combination of proper rest, exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits. Medication and vitamin supplements can also help. Muscle relaxants and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can provide temporary relief from the pain and muscular stiffness. Physiotherapy has shown great results in tackling the issue of joint pains.  Acupuncture, yoga, exercises, massage, hydrotherapy, and cryotherapy (ice-packs) will help in relieving painful symptoms.

Controlling weight and having a healthy diet can go a long way in preventing joint aches, especially in old age. Regular walking, swimming, aerobics etc will help strengthen the muscle surrounding the bones and joints, keeping joint aches away.

Having pain in the joints is a very common problem. It is particularly common among older adults and manifests as a result of age-related degeneration. As we have seen, there can be a variety of causes for joint pain. So, if you are suffering from joint pain, it is best to obtain a professional medical opinion as to the cause of the problem and the best way to treat it.

 

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Complete rest can cause more harm to the joints than good. It is important to incorporate movement and exercises into your daily routine. Swimming, cycling, and yoga are great for people suffering from joint pains (low-impact exercises).
  • Try to shed a few pounds of weight. It will decrease the pressure on your joints, especially knees and ankles.
  • Make regular visits to your chiropractor or functional movement specialist to analyze the improvements in your condition.
Don'ts
  • Continue smoking as nicotine leads to poor degeneration of connective issues worsening joint aches.
  • Sleep on too-soft mattresses as they tend to spoil the alignment of the spine.
  • Use heat pad in case of inflammation. Use cold packs to treat such symptoms.

 

 

 

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Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm our body? And…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
beta hcg test
Beta hCG Test A Beta hCG test measures the level of human gonadotropin hormones present in the blood that is primarliy…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
blood elements analysis
Vitamin Profile Your doctor will recommend you undergo the vitamin profile test if you are showing signs of either vitamin…
woman with abdominal pain holding ovulation calendar
Ovulation – facts to know about ovulation Learn how and when ovulation occurs, demystify common misconceptions, identify symptoms, methods of detection and right period for…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 igm
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgM The Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgM test detects IgM class of antibodies in the blood.The presence of beta-2…
beta alanine energy powder
Beta-alanine: A powerhouse of proteins to charge up your workout How can a simple amino acid be a crucial health supplement for champion athletes? Find out how you…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
apolipoprotein a1 test
Apolipoprotein -A1 (APO-A1) Test Apolipoprotein A-I (Apo-A1) constitutes 70% of protein content in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and helps in lipid metabolism.
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
anti-chlamydia antibody tets
Anti-Chlamydia Antibody -IgG Test Anti-Chlamydia Antibody - IgG test is performed by collection of urine or genital fluids as sample for testing…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
Bloodtestalbumin
Albumin Test Albumin test or blood serum test is a liver function test that measures the amount of the protein…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid when you experience…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…

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