Joint Pains

Joint Pains - Arthritis
Arthritis
Cervical
Knee Pain
Osteoporosis

AVN
AVN
Frozen Shoulder
Frozen Shoulder
Lumbar Spondylitis
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Backpain
Joint Disorder
Osteoartherities
Spondylitis

Joint Pain

Joints are the parts of your body where your bones meet. Joints allow the bones of your skeleton to move. Joints include:

  • 1. shoulders
  • 2. hips
  • 3. elbows
  • 4. knees

Joint pain refers to discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body’s joints. Joint pain is a common complaint. It doesn’t typically require a hospital visit.

Sometimes, joint pain is the result of an illness or injury. Arthritis is also a common cause of joint pain. However, it can also be due to other conditions or factors.

What causes joint pain?

Arthritis

One of the most common causes of joint pain is arthritis. The two main forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

According to the American College of Rheumatology, OA is most common in adults over age 40. It progresses slowly and tends to affect commonly used joints like the:

  • 1. wrists
  • 2. hands
  • 3. hips
  • 4. knees

Joint pain due to OA results from a breakdown of the cartilage that serves as a cushion and shock absorber for the joints.

The second form of arthritis is RA. According to the Arthritis Foundation, RA affects about 1.5 million Americans. It more commonly affects women than men.

It can deform and debilitate the joints over time. RA causes pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup in the joints as the body’s immune system attacks the membrane that lines the joints.

Other causes

Joint pain can be caused by:

  • 1. bursitis, or inflammation of the cushioning pads around joints
  • 2. lupus
  • 3. gout
  • 4. certain infectious diseases, such as mumps, influenza, and hepatitis
  • 5. chondromalacia of the patella, or a breakdown of the cartilage in the kneecap
    • an injury
  • 6. tendinitis, or inflammation of the tendon
  • 7. an infection of the bone or joint
    • overuse of a joint
  • 8. cancer
  • 9. fibromyalgia
  • 10. osteoporosis
  • 11. sarcoidosis
  • 12. rickets

What are the symptoms of joint pain?

In some cases, your joint pain will require you to see a doctor. You should make an appointment if you don’t know the cause of your joint pain and are experiencing other unexplained symptoms.

You should also see a doctor if:

  • 1. the area around the joint is swollen, red, tender, or warm to the touch
    • the pain persists for three days or more
  • 2. you have a fever but no other signs of the flu

Go to the emergency room if any of the following occurs:

  • 1. You’ve experienced a serious injury.
  • 2. The joint appears deformed.
  • 3. Swelling of the joint occurs suddenly.
  • 4. The joint is completely immobile.
  • 5. You have severe joint pain.

How is joint pain diagnosed?

Your doctor will probably perform a physical exam. They’ll also ask you a series of questions about your joint pain. This may help to narrow down the potential causes.

A joint X-ray may be necessary to identify arthritis-related joint damage.

If your doctor suspects there’s another cause, they may order a blood test to screen for certain autoimmune disorders. They may also request a sedimentation rate test to measure the level of inflammation in the body or a complete blood count.

How is joint pain treated?

Home treatment

Doctors consider both OA and RA to be chronic conditions. There’s no treatment currently available that will completely eliminate the joint pain associated with arthritis or keep it from returning. However, there are ways to manage the pain:

  • 1. It may help to use topical pain relievers or take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  • 2. Stay physically active and follow a fitness program focusing on moderate exercise.
  • 3. Stretch before exercising to maintain a good range of motion in your joints.
  • 4. Keep your body weight within a healthy range. This will lessen stress on the joints.
  • 5. If your pain isn’t due to arthritis, you can try taking a nonprescription, anti-inflammatory drug, getting a massage, taking a warm bath, stretching frequently, and getting adequate rest.

What is the outlook for people with joint pain?

Joint pain is often a result of the damage that occurs through normal wear and tear. However, it can also be a sign of an infection or potentially debilitating RA.

You should see your doctor if you have any unexplained joint pain, especially if it doesn’t go away on its own after a few days. Early detection and diagnosis can allow for effective treatment of the underlying cause of your discomfort.

Why joints hurt

Pain in your joints can have many different causes. For many people, joint pain is caused by arthritis, a group of conditions marked by inflammation in the joints.

About 23 percentTrusted Source of adults in the United States have arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. This type is caused by a breakdown of cartilage as you age.

For others, joint pain may be caused by an injury or infection of the joints, or another condition, such as fibromyalgia or even depression. It can also be the result of poor posture or long periods of inactivity.

It’s possible for people with arthritis to help their symptoms, but many don’t know how. Treating joint pain isn’t always as simple as taking a pill or doing a few exercises, but ignoring the pain won’t make it go away.

Fortunately, there are many available treatment options that you can try. Depending on the cause and severity of your joint pain, you can find the combination of treatments that work for you.

Home remedies

Many causes of joint pain can be managed at home with a few lifestyle changes.

Hot and cold therapy

To reduce stiffness in the joints, try alternating cold with hot treatments. Warm showers or baths may help lessen stiffness in your joints in the morning. At night, you can try sleeping with an electric heated blanket or a heating pad.

Cold treatment is also helpful for relieving inflammation in the joints. Wrap a gel ice pack in a towel and apply it to painful joints for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Diet changes

Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables might reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Research suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can help prevent inflammation. These foods include:

  • 1. omega-3-rich foods, such as walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • 2. antioxidant-rich foods, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, red wine, and dark chocolate

On top of including more of these foods in your diet, be sure to also cut out processed carbohydrates and saturated or trans fats.

Exercise

Physical activity, such as walking or swimming, can not only decrease pain, but also improve your mood and quality of life. The CDC suggests that people with arthritis should try to get at least 150 minutesTrusted Source of physical activity each week.

Make sure to avoid activities that are more likely to cause joint injuries, such as high-impact exercises like tennis or running.

Tai chi and yoga are excellent activities for people with joint pain. One published studyTrusted Source found that tai chi had a positive impact on pain, physical function, depression, and quality of life for people with OA of the knee.

If you’re overweight, you can reduce joint pain and arthritis symptoms by maintaining a healthy weight. Added weight puts more pressure on your joints, particularly your knees, hips, and feet.

If you’re having trouble losing weight, a doctor can refer you to a dietitian to get you started on your weight loss journey.

Supplements

Dietary supplements may help to relieve symptoms such as inflammation and joint pain. No dietary supplement has shown clear-cut benefits for joint pain, but there’s some evidence a few supplements might help.

Examples include:

  • 1. fish oil, which has been shown to help to relieve tender joints and morning stiffness in people with RA
  • 2. ginger, which has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in laboratory studies and to reduce pain and disability in people with OA
  • 3. glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate could be helpful for people with moderate-to-severe knee pain

Keep in mind that if your joint pain is being caused by another condition, such as RA, home remedies like supplements should never replace medical treatment.

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