Joint Pain

Joint Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Joints are the points where two or more bones connect to allow mobility except for the lingual bone in the throat. A joint is also known as articulation, and its shape anticipates its function. Generally, the more mobility possible through a joint, the greater the possibility of a bruise. While the excessive range of motion lowers the power of the joint.

Types of Joints:

Joints are classified according to their ability to move. There are three types of joints:

  • Immovable Joints: In immovable joints, two or more bones are closely connected but can’t be moved, such as the skull bones. These links are known as sutures.
  • Slightly Mobile Joints: In somewhat mobile joints, two or more bones are connected so closely that only a limited number of movements are allowed, such as in the vertebrae of a vertebral column.
  • Freely Mobile Joints: Joints can move freely in a limited range of motion in freely mobile joints.

What is a Joint Pain? 

The joints connect your bones, act as a support, and help in movement. Disease or injury to the joints can negatively affect your mobility and cause significant discomfort. A common sign of joint discomfort is pain in the hands, feet, hips, knees, or spine. The discomfort may be constant, or it may repeat. Sometimes, the joint may be rigid, aching, or painful, and some patients may experience flaming, throbbing, or “grating” feelings. 

Moreover, the joint may feel rigid in the morning, but it will be normal eventually and become more comfortable as you move and perform activities. However, the excessive activity could exacerbate the pain. Pain in the joint can afflict the purpose of the joint and impair an individual’s ability to carry out routine tasks. Extreme pain can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. 

Causes of Joint Pain

There are numerous causes of joint pain based on your age. An apparent cause of joint pain may be an injury sustained during a sporting event. You may require proper investigations recommended by a specialist to diagnose and treat it quickly. Moreover, following structures around or within the joint may also cause pain in the joint;

  • The joint lining.
  • Bones adjacent to or within the joint.
  • Tissues surrounding the joint, such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

It is also possible for nerves to cause joint pain; for example, a hip problem may result in knee pain. The term “nerve pain” is also used to describe the pain caused by a ‘slipped disc’ in your back that leads to discomfort in your leg (sciatica) when the disc is out of place. 

Here are some of the utmost usual causes of joint pain.

Causes of joint pain in adults (Commonly afflicting more than one joint)

  • Body Contamination:  A normal body contamination may cause joint pain, particularly during a flu-like sickness with high temperature. There may be pain in several joints, or you may feel discomfort ‘all over’ or in all joints.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the utmost common kind of arthritis globally. It is characterized by discomfort in the joints due to wear and tear. In the beginning, it is most evident in one joint, like the hip or knee, but as it progresses, it commonly affects numerous joints. It is also common to experience discomfort in the hip, knee, and hands, as well as in the spine.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: The rheumatoid disease arthritis (RA) causes the joints’ inflammation, discomfort, and swelling. People with RA often experience painful and stiff joints in the morning. Inflammation that continues with time can cause harm to afflicted joints, and the acuteness of the rash may range from mild to severe.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: Some people with a skin condition called psoriasis suffer from psoriatic arthritis, which causes discomfort and swelling of the joints. 
  • Reactive Arthritis: Reactive arthritis occurs when the joint response to contamination elsewhere in the body. The condition that causes reactive arthritis does not appear in the joint itself but commonly in the gut or the urethra (bladder outlet).
  • Gout: A gout attack causes aching inflammation in one or more joints. The discomfort associated with a gout attack can be intense. A case of gout often begins in just one joint, utmost usually in the big toe, but can spread to other joints. 
  • Fibromyalgia symptoms include pain and tenderness throughout the body, fatigue, and other signs.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: Ankylosing spondylitis is a kind of arthritis that commonly afflicts the lower back and affects other joints and body parts.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency: Joint pains can be a symptom of a vitamin D deficiency if it is severe.
  • Menopause: Women undergoing menopause often suffer from joint and muscle pains, among other symptoms. 

Causes of joint pain in adults (Commonly afflicting one joint)

  • Injuries: A bruise to the bone (a fracture) or nearby muscles, tendons, or ligaments (soft tissue injuries – sprains or tears) causes pain in joints.
  • Joint and Bone Infection: A joint infection (septic arthritis), bone infection, or contamination (osteomyelitis) may also result in joint pain.
  • Leukemia: Leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) can cause bone or joint pain due to an overpopulation of cancer cells in the bone marrow.
  • Primary Bone Cancer: A swollen bone near a joint may make it difficult to use that joint. Cancer can weaken a bone, making it more likely to fracture after a minor injury or fall.  

Causes of joint pain in children and teenagers

Numerous causes of joint discomfort in adults may also be present in children. However, joint discomfort can also happen in children and teenagers due to their growing bones and joints. The conditions include:

  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: It causes inflammation of the joint in under-16-years-old children.
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease: This is a usual cause of knee discomfort, especially in young athletes. The condition results in pain and tenderness at the front of the knee (just below the kneecap).
  • Henoch-Schönlein Purpura: Henoch-Schönlein purpura is a situation that can lead to skin rashes, stomach pain, and joint discomfort among children. 
  • Hip Pain: Hip may be severe in children and requires immediate medical attention. Several conditions can cause hip pain in youngsters, including those that afflict any joint, such as septic arthritis. 

Symptoms of Joint Pain

An individual may experience mild to severe joint pain. Since the bones do not have cartilage, they rub against each other as they move. Among the symptoms are: 

  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Enlarge joints
  • Nuisance
  • Harsh joints, clicking, crushing, or snapping voices when you move the joint.
  •  Pain during movement
  • Trouble curving or straightening the joint
  • Loss of movement
  • A reddish, hot, and inflamed joint 

Treatment of Joint Pain

There is no proper treatment for the joint discomfort; it can be handled to bring relief to the patient. The discomfort might go away by taking an un-prescribed medicine or doing simple daily exercises. Some patients may experience pain as a sign of problems that may require prescribed medication or surgical intervention.

Home Treatment: 

Physicians analyze both OA and RA to be chronic situations. There is no cure available to abolish the joint discomfort associated with arthritis or prevent it from reoccurring. However, you can manage the pain in several ways.

  • Reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation by using topical pain relievers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Maintain a physical activity program that focuses on moderate exercises.
  • Ensure that you stretch before physical activity to maintain a healthy range of motion.
  • Maintain healthy body weight. Ideal weight will reduce the strain on your joints. 
  • If you do not have arthritis, you can take anti-inflammatory medicine, get a massage, take a hot bath, stretch mainly, and take enough rest.

Medical Treatment

Depending on the cause of your pain, you will have different treatment options. Your physical health care provider may require draining accumulated fluid from the affected area to diagnose contamination, gout, or other causes of the pain in the joint. Alternatively, your doctor may suggest surgery to replace the joint.

Some other non-surgical cure options or lifestyle changes or medicines may be able to cause your RA to go into remission. If you have RA, your doctor will address inflammation first. As soon as your RA is in remission, your medical care will focus on preventing flare-ups by keeping a close eye on your condition.

References:

  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17752-joint-pain retrieved on April 04, 2022.
  • https://patient.info/bones-joints-muscles/joint-pain retrieved on April 04, 2022.
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17752-joint-pain retrieved on April 04, 2022.
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/joint-pain#treatment retrieved on April 04, 2022.
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