Joint Pain

What Causes Joint Pain?

Joint pain, otherwise known by its medical name arthralgia, is one type of pain most people can relate to. They are invariably caused by traumatic events or osteoarthritis, a degenerative and inflammatory condition of the joints as one age. Joint pain is also attributed to a number of medical conditions such as bacteria (septic arthritis), tumors near the joint, chronic autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis), including some metabolic malfunctions, for example gout.

No matter what the reason is, joint pain is usually associated with deep, dull and aching sensation, in contrast to skin pain which is often characterized with sharp, burning and well localized affected area. It is also common top experience joint swelling and stiffness together with joint pain. More severely it could result an altered function of the joint, depending on severity, could either bring about reduced mobility of the joint itself or complete functional disability.

Subject to what causes your joint pain, your experience could either be acute (the pain comes and goes over a few days period) or chronic (the effect would last longer, sometimes in matter of years) and it could affect a single joint only or up to multiple joints. Moreover, the symptom could be continuous, intermittent or the pain could set in only in certain postures, either during movement or at times of inactivity.

Treatments Available for Joint Pain

Physicians would treat these joint pains according to their respective causes. When inflammation surfaces as by-product alongside joint pain (as in the case of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis), anti-inflammatory medicines (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, and COX2 inhibitors) are great to provide the necessary relief. In certain situation, it may be necessary for the application of steroids in order to effect an instant relief from joint pain, swelling and inflammation.

For bacterial infections, antibiotics are often noted for its effectiveness to treat joint pain, and it has been widely acknowledged that some dietary supplements, for example glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, can be effective to serve the function to protect and restore the joint cartilage for osteoarthritis sufferers.

Physical therapy is usually recommended by physicians as an important treatment option for joint pain. Nevertheless, physical activity could likely lead to further exertion and could possibly introduce more harm to joint pain, so it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions. Also one needs ample rest as well, especially if there is an absence of inflammation with the joint pain. In that sense, getting the balance right between rest and physical activity is of paramount importance. Your doctor is in the best position to advise you on the right mix according to the cause of your joint pain.

Other conventional treatments for joint pain can come in the form of hot or cold therapy, massages, the use of supportive devices (things like walking sticks, splints or braces), and certain techniques that are helpful to relax the muscle and reduce muscle tension in close proximity to the affected joints.

Just as significant, it is important to note that excessive weight is an adverse factor that further damages joint tissues and aggravates joint pain. This is primarily the reason overweight or obese sufferers are either put through a strict diet or exercise regime to induce weight loss, so as to complement joint pain treatment more effectively.