Why Do Your Joints Hurt? Causes, Symptoms, and Pain Relief
Joints are the point where two bones meet and they allow your bones to move swiftly. The joints are found in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. When any of these joints get bruised or injured, it can cause pain.
Joint pain is a common complaint among adults and mostly it does not warrant a trip to the hospital. With home treatment, you can ease the pain and discomfort. However, it is important to speak to our doctor in Cypress on the causes and possible treatment of joint pain.
What Causes Joint Pain?
The type of joint pain you have is determined by the cause. It can be caused by various factors, but arthritis is the most common cause.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints causing pain, stiffness, and swelling and it worsens with age. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are the two main types of arthritis that affect the joints. OA is the most common cause of joint pain among adults. It develops and progresses slowly and affects commonly used joints like hands, wrists, hips, and knees.
Osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of cartilage, which cushions the joints and acts as shock absorbers. It is characterized by pain, stiffness, loss of flexibility, tenderness, and swelling.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory joint disorder that affects more than one joint. In severe cases, it may damage other body systems like eyes, skin, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Unlike the OA that causes wear and tear of the cartilage, RA affects the lining of the joints. This causes swelling that leads to joint deformity or bone erosion.
This is a painful condition that affects the small bursae (fluid-filled sacs) which cushion the tendons, muscles, and bones. When these sacs get inflamed, it can lead to joint pain. Bursitis affects the shoulder, elbow, hips, and at times, the knees.
Bursitis is caused by repetitive motions, like throwing a baseball, and extensive kneeling, that put pressure on these sacs around the joints. RA can also be a cause of bursitis.
Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria that enters the bloodstream and affects the bone. An injury can also expose the bone to germs and cause an infection. Osteomyelitis causes swelling, fever, pain, and fatigue.
At times, the condition does not have signs or symptoms or it may be hard to distinguish from other problems. Seek medical treatment when you begin to develop pain alongside fever. Another reason to see a doctor is if you have a preexisting medical condition or have undergone recent surgery or injury.
- Broken bone
Broken bones or fractures are a common cause of joint pain. Your joints can get fractured after an accident or a fall. Our bones are strong can withstand pressure, but as we age, they tend to weaken and increase the risk of falling.
- Other causes of joint pain
Joint pain can also be caused by fibromyalgia, joint dislocation, rickets, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatic fever among others.
What Are Treatment Options?
Dr. Smitha Mantha can use one or a combination of treatments.
- Medication and topical agents
For mild to moderate joint pain, medication like the Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs can ease the discomfort. Muscle relaxants can also be used to treat muscle spasms. The doctor can also recommend antidepressants which are known to interfere with pain signals.
Topical agents that contain capsaicin block pain signals and eases the pain. On the downside, these substances can cause a burning sensation, because capsaicin is a component of chili peppers.
Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin help to rebuild the cartilage. They also improve joint function and ease the pain.
If you cannot get relief from medication, the doctor may recommend injections. The medication is injected directly into the joint every three to four months. These injections are mostly used by people who have arthritis.
- Physical therapy
You can visit a therapist to strengthen the muscles around the joint and helps improves the joints. Several techniques can be used such as heat and cold therapy, ultrasound, and manipulation.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Crosspointe Medical Clinic for more information about joint pains, the causes, and how to relieve pain.