You usually feel joint pain in the hands, feet, knees, spine, shoulders, and hips .
The pain can be ongoing, or it can come and go.
On some days, you feel stiff and immobile and on other days sore and achy.
Some people are known to complain of burning and throbbing sensations. For some, the joint pain is really sore in the morning.
Then as you get up and move about, it starts loosening up a bit and feeling a bit better as you become active.
On the other hand, too much activity can also make joint pain worse .
Joint pain affects your ability to do basic tasks
Sometimes when their pain is severe, it starts to affect the quality of their lives. Joint pain can affect people who:
Have had previous injuries
They already have arthritis and other chronic medical symptoms
They suffer from stress and anxiety
They are overweight
Are in generally poor health
Causes of joint pain
Osteoarthritis: This is a common type of arthritis. It happens over time when the cartilage starts wearing away.
Rheumatoid arthritis: RA causes pain and swelling in the joints. Sometimes the joints become deformed.
Gout: This can be extremely painful. It happens when crystals form in the body in the joint. They cause a lot of pain and swelling. Gout usually occurs in the big toe.
Bursitis happens to your joint through overuse. The pain can be felt in the knees, hips, elbows, or shoulders.
Often, viral infections, fever, and rash can make your joints painful .
Injuries occur and they cause sprains and even broken bones.
Tendinitis: This is an inflammation of the tendons. You typically experience tendinitis in the heels, elbows, or shoulder. Tendinitis is also usually caused by overuse.
Only sometimes should you handle your joint pain on your own
It might not be necessary to see a doctor when;
There is only light swelling
Your skin might be a bit red but there are no other very unusual symptoms
When you have mild pain
When should you make an appointment with your doctor for joint pain?
There are going to be times when your joint pain is particularly intense; when it is angry and aggravated – you might notice these symptoms:
Warmth and tenderness around the joint and pain if you touch it
Maybe you have only experienced joint pain because you were injured. Perhaps the injury has resulted in these symptoms and appearances:
You can’t use the joint
The joint is deformed
You have intense pain
There is swelling
How The Joint Pain Gets Treated
Often the pain goes away just simply by using over-the-counter medications. Sometimes just a few simple daily exercises help as well.
Sometimes the pain might be signaling problems that only surgery or prescription medication can help.
Applying cold ice or heating pads to the affected area: This can help for short periods of time, especially if you do it a few times a day. Also, soaking in a warm bathtub with Epson salts can help a lot .
Exercise gets back strength and function to the joints. Walking, swimming, and other low-impact aerobic exercises work best. If you are someone participating in very strenuous workouts you might need to slow down a bit. Gentle stretching exercises also help. Always check in with your doctor before starting or continuing with any workout programs.
Weight loss might be suggested if you are overweight because the extra weight puts strain on your joints.
Anti-inflammatory drugs will go a long way in easing the pain – drugs like Tylenol, or Ibuprofen. Some medicines are available over the counter but stronger medications might need a doctor’s prescription.
There are wonderful topical treatments like gels, ointments, and essential oils that you can rub on your skin over the affected joint area. These too might be available over the counter or you might need a doctor’s prescription.
Adding in healthy dietary supplements goes a long way too. Glucosamine is excellent and helps to relieve pain.
If medications or treatments don’t help
Then the doctor might prescribe these aids for you:
Supportive aids: These could be in the form of a brace, or orthotic devices like shoes, and canes.
Physiotherapy might do wonders for joint pain, ease the pain and improve flexibility.
Antidepressants may be prescribed to help improve sleep for a patient suffering from joint pain.
Steroids are given by injection into the joint, and they provide short-term relief of pain and swelling.
Surgery options can include arthroscopy or joint replacement.
Why it is important to see a doctor
See your doctor if you are in a lot of pain and you can’t even move your joint. You could have broken something. The joint and injury would need to be x-rayed so the doctor can take the necessary steps.
One orthopedic surgeon, Donald B. Longjohn says whether you need to get to a doctor also depends on other factors such as your age and your activity levels.
For instance, he says, “If a younger person playing sports has a serious injury that leads to a deformity or extreme pain; definitely go to an emergency room.”
Your doctor will give you a correct diagnosis.
This is especially due to the fact that joint pain has a whole lot of causes.
Maybe you have a dislocation, tendinitis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, and more. Arthritis is an umbrella name for over 100 conditions.
And of course, the treatments are just as varied and many. It will all depend on the type of arthritis out of all of them which you actually have .
Some should be treated immediately or the damage gets worse, and permanent damage can be the result. Others will improve over time as you make some lifestyle adjustments.
Here is an excellent 3-step plan to keep your joints healthy and pain-free:
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