A joint is a connection between bones that allows the bones of your skeleton to move. The main joints in our skeletal system include shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees. Joint pain can be aches, discomfort, and inflammation arising from any of the body’s joints. Joint pain is a common complaint by people, especially old people, and requires proper pain management for joints to get relief from pain. Sometimes, joint pain can happen due to an injury or illness. For example, arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain that can be treated with the right medication and Pain Management for Joints. However, joint pain may occur due to any other reasons.
Causes of Joint Pain
As said earlier, arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain. Arthritis is of two forms –osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is commonly seen in adults above the age of 40 and progressively tends to affects the most used joints such as wrists, hands, hips, and knees.
Osteoarthritis (OA) – Joint pain due to OA, commonly known as wear and tear arthritis is caused when the cartilage that serves as a smooth cushion and shock absorber for the joints breaks down. Joints get painful, swollen, and difficult to move. OA commonly affects our hands, knees, hips, lower back, and neck.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – Studies have revealed that RA more commonly affects women than men. With time, it can deform and debilitate the joints and cause pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup in the joint. This happens when the body’s immune system attacks the membrane that lines the joints.
Other Causes – Some other causes of joint pain include an injury, cancer, lupus, gout, certain infectious diseases, such as influenza, mumps, and hepatitis, chondromalacia of the patella, bursitis, or inflammation of the cushioning pads around joints, a breakdown of the cartilage in the kneecap, tendinitis, bone or joint infection, excessive use of a joint, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, sarcoidosis, and rickets.
Symptoms of Joint Pain
If you’re experiencing severe pain and other unexplained symptoms, you should consider consulting a doctor who will diagnose the problem and suggest you with the right pain management for joints.
You should consult your doctor if you find
- the joint area is swollen, tender, red, or warm when touched
- the pain stays for 3 or more days
- you have a fever but no signs of flu
Head to the emergency room in case
- You’ve got a serious injury
- Your joints appear deformed
- Joint swells suddenly
- You cannot move your joints
- You have severe joint pain
Diagnosis of Joint Pain
Your doctor will first physically examine your joint pain and ask a few related questions to narrow down the potential causes of joint pain. Doing a joint x-ray will be necessary to identify the root cause of pain and arthritis-related joint damage. If the doctor suspects any other cause, you may be required to get a blood test to examine certain autoimmune disorders. The doctors may also request you to take a sedimentation rate test to measure the level of body inflammation or a complete blood count.
Treatment of Joint Pain
Home-based Joint Pain Treatment
Both OA and RA are considered to be chronic conditions. Hence, there’s no such treatment that will completely eliminate or prevent joint pain associated with arthritis. However, there are some effective pain management for joints tips that will help you lessen the pain.
- Using topical pain relievers or taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain, swelling, or inflammation in the body.
- Exercise regularly and follow a physical fitness program seriously.
- Stretch or warm-up before exercising to maintain motion in your joints.
- Maintain your body weight to ensure less burden on the knee joints.
- If your joint pain is not due to arthritis but some other reasons, you may consider taking a nonprescription, anti-inflammatory drug, getting a massage, taking a warm bath, stretching frequently, and getting adequate rest.
Your treatment options and pain management for joints depends on the cause of the pain. In some serious conditions, the doctor may draw out accumulated fluid in the joint area, gout, or other causes. This may also lead to surgery for replacing the joints. In case you’re experiencing joint pain due to RA, the doctor will suggest medications that will first cause the RA to go into remission and then focus on tight rein on your condition to prevent flare-ups. If you experience any unrecognized symptoms, head to your doctor before it’s too late to get necessary treatments and pain management for joint pain.