What You Need to Know About Joint Pain

What You Need to Know About Joint Pain

If you experience pain while moving regularly, this may be because of joint pain. Joints are the part of your body, which form connections between bones, allowing you to move. If your joints are harmed because of any injury or illness, then any movement will cause you pain. There are also joint pain occurrences in young adults; it’s not something that one experiences in old age only. 

Many conditions can lead your joints to swell, ache, and stiffen – arthritis being one of the most common. According to the CDC, in the United States, one in four adults have arthritis, which means over 54 million people nationwide suffer from this ailment. However, not all joint pain is caused by arthritis, and even arthritis isn’t a single illness, there are more than 200 conditions that fall under it. 

If you’re experiencing joint pain that has been going on for more than three days or have observed frequent joint symptoms within a month, you should immediately talk to your doctor—understanding the reason behind why your joints ache is the first step to be relieved of the pain.

What Causes Joint Pain?

The most common causes associated with chronic pain in joints are the following.

1. Rheumatoid arthritis

This is a chronic disease that causes joints to swell and ache. In many cases, the joints become deformed as well, most commonly occur in the wrist and fingers. 

2. Bursitis

This is caused by the overuse of joints, mainly when you exert too much or your joints are stressed. It mostly happens in the shoulder, hip, and elbow but can also occur in the knee and heel. 

3. Osteoarthritis

This is one of the most common causes of joint pain and a type of arthritis, which affects millions of people worldwide. Osteoarthritis typically occurs because of aging, when the cartilage, a protective cushion between the bones, wears down over time. OA can affect any of your joints but most commonly occurs in the spine, hands, hips, and knees. 

4. Gout

This is a common but complex type of arthritis, which can affect anyone, irrespective of age. It occurs through sudden and severe pain in the joints, generally in the big toe. Common symptoms are swelling, tenderness, and intense pain in the base of the big toe. 

5. Viral infections, injuries, and more

There are many other causes of joint pains other than the ones listed above. If you experience swelling, pain, or tenderness in your joints, immediately speak with a doctor. 

How can Joint Pain be Treated?

If you’re searching for joint pain treatment, then there are two approaches you can take: medical treatment or manage the pain at home. Either way, it’s important to first speak with a physician before deciding how to move forward.

How to prevent joint pain

Doctors consider most forms of arthritis to be chronic conditions with no such treatment yet available that can permanently eliminate arthritis symptoms or prevent it from happening in the future. However, there are some steps you can take to manage the pain. 

  • Try to remain as active as possible, following an exercise or workout plan that won’t cause further damage to your joints. To be on the safe side, consult a doctor before you partake in any physical activity.
  • Always stretch and warm-up before any exercise.
  • Try to keep your body weight within a healthy BMI range. You can speak to a vascular specialist about this as well. 
  • If the pain isn’t caused by arthritis, you can also do the following activities to relax your body and lessen the pain: take a warm bath, get a body massage, and get a good amount of sleep.

Medical Treatment

The best approach to any joint pain is to ask a doctor who can accurately diagnose the problem and then provide the treatment for it. The treatment will depend on the symptoms and cause. Your doctor may test for infections or gout by drawing out some fluid from the joint area, or if the issue is more serious, then a joint replacement surgery may be recommended to you.

Non-surgical approaches include medication and lifestyle changes, but this all depends on the joint pain and what your doctor recommends. 

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