By Medicover Hospitals / 21 Jan 2021
Physical discomfort when two or more bones meet to form a joint, ranging from mild to disabling. Joint pain can have causes that are not due to an underlying disease. Examples include overuse such as strenuous physical activity, lack of use, sprains, or strains.
- What is Joint pain?
- When to visit a Doctor?
- Home remedies
What is Joint pain?
Joint pain is the feeling of discomfort or pain in a joint or joints in the body. Joints are spaces or areas where two or more bones come together, such as the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, and ankle. Joint pain can happen with or without movement and can be serious enough to limit movement. People can describe joint pain as discomfort, inflammation, increased heat or a burning sensation, pain, stiffness, or pain.
Joints allow our bones to move. They are made up of cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bursa, and the synovial membrane. Any of the structures in a joint can become irritated or inflamed in response to a variety of mild to serious illnesses, disorders, or conditions.
Your joint pain may last briefly or be chronic, defined as lasting more than three months. Joint pain has many causes. Sudden joint pain may be due to a slight muscle or ligament sprain, bursitis, or dislocation. Chronic joint pain can be a symptom of serious or life-threatening conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, leukemia, or bone cancer.
If you experience sudden joint pain with loss of mobility, contact a healthcare practitioner as soon as possible or seek emergency medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can minimize discomfort and reduce the risk of severe complications.
If the pain lasts more than a few days or is accompanied by fever, unexplained weight loss, or other unusual symptoms, contact a healthcare practitioner as soon as possible.
Joint pain can be due to fairly mild conditions, such as an overuse injury or a sprain that respond well to rest and self-care measures.
Joint pain can also be due to traumatic injuries (dislocations), infections (septic arthritis or rheumatic fever), autoimmune diseases (Sjogren’s syndrome), chronic degenerative conditions (arthritis), or a malignant tumor (cancer ). Some of these diseases, disorders, or conditions are serious and potentially fatal, especially if they are not treated promptly.
Joint pain can result from traumatic injuries, including:
- Joint dislocation
- Joint separation
- Ligament sprains
- Loose fragments of bone or cartilage
- Overuse injury
- Repetitive movement
- Foreign body retained
- Sports injuries
- Torn ligament or cartilage
Infectious causes of joint pain:
Joint pain can result from infectious diseases, including:
- Lyme disease
- Septic or infectious arthritis
Degenerative, inflammatory, and autoimmune causes of joint pain:
Deterioration of joint structure, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases can also cause joint pain such as:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Acute articular rhumatism
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren's syndrome
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
Other causes of joint pain:
Other causes of joint pain include:
- Bone cancer
- Paget's disease
Joint pain often goes away without any testing. Your doctor can help you diagnose the cause of joint pain. This will involve asking yourself questions about your symptoms and examining the affected joints. Your doctor may also ask you to have blood tests and an x-ray to help find out the reason for your joint pain. For some joint conditions, an ultrasound can be helpful to diagnose the cause. In some cases, more specialized tests will be needed, such as other scans or keyhole surgery to look inside the joint (arthroscopy).
The treatment options will be based on the cause of the pain. Sometimes your doctor will need to aspirate the fluid that has accumulated in the joint area to look for an infection or gout or other causes of joint pain. For replacing the joint you physician might recommend surgery.
Other non-surgical treatment methods could include lifestyle changes or medications that could lead to remission of your rheumatoid arthritis (RA). With rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your doctor will first treat the inflammation. Once rheumatoid arthritis (RA) goes into remission, your medical treatment will focus on controlling your condition to prevent flare-ups.
When to visit a Doctor?
Joint pain is rarely an emergency. Most cases of mild joint pain can be managed successfully at home.
Make an appointment with your physician if your joint pain is accompanied by:
Seek immediate medical attention if your joint pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by:
- Tenderness and warmth around the joint
- Joint deformity
- Inability to use the joint
- Intense pain
- Sudden swelling
When caring for mild joint pain at home, follow these tips:
- Try an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
- Avoid using your joint in a way that causes or worsens the pain.
- Apply ice or a packet of frozen peas to your painful joint for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day.
- Apply a heating pad, soak in a hot bath, or take a hot shower to relax muscles and increase circulation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some foods that can help reduce pain and increase joint mobility:
- Omega-3 fatty acids/fish oils
- Nuts and seeds
- Brassica vegetables
- Colorful fruits
- Olive oil
- Lentils and beans.
- Garlic and root vegetables
- Whole grains
The most common cause of morning stiffness is wear and tear on the joints or muscle tension that is mistaken for joint pain. Sometimes it is also a sign of inflammation or arthritis. Joints don't age the same way people do.
Here are some foods and drinks to avoid if you have arthritis.
- Added sugars
- Processed and red meats
- Foods containing gluten
- Highly processed foods
- Certain vegetable oils
- Foods were rich in salt
- Foods were rich in advanced glycation end products (AGEs)
Chronic joint pains-https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874111004661
Chronic multiple-site joint pains- https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12891-016-1049-0
Exercise related joint pains- https://www.bmj.com/content/318/7181/449.1.short