Joint pain is a very common problem with mostly older age persons with many possible causes, but it’s usually a result of injury or arthritis. It is also arthralgia. This is different to the word arthritis, which means inflammation of the joint, which causes pain and sometimes warmth, redness and/or swelling of the joint. A joint can be painful without being inflamed, or it can be both painful and inflamed.
Many different conditions can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. It is extremely common. In one national survey, about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but This can affect any part of your body, from your ankles and feet to your shoulders and hands. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common.
Joint pain becomes more and more severe, ice packs and Tylenol prove to be less and less effective. A qualified orthopaedic physician will be able to discuss options with you for more effective treatment methods to address your pain. For now, though, let’s identify three possible causes.
Trauma/Injury: Can be the result of various types of injuries, including those that occur as a result of lifting heavy objects, bending improperly, sports related trauma and automobile accidents. These incidents may result in injury to bones, ligaments or cartilage within a joint, thereby resulting in general joint pain.
Gout: causes attacks of painful inflammation in one or more joints. The pain of a gout attack can be severe. Gout often first occurs in just one joint, most commonly the big toe, but may go on to affect other joints.
Diseases/Conditions: Certain inflammatory conditions, such as Gout and Lupus, are other common causes of joint pain. Gout, which occurs when the body produces too much uric acid and is unable to eliminate it fast enough, results in severe joint inflammation. Lupus is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that impacts more than just the joints, but does often result in joint pain and stiffness.
Arthritis: Here’s the primary culprit. This disease of the joints can occur as either “wear and tear” arthritis or inflammatory arthritis, and is considered to be one of the most common causes of joint pain and disability in the U.S. The most common types include Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriatic Arthritis.
There are many causes of joint pain. The possible causes will partly depend on your age. The possible causes for joint pain in children are different to the possible causes for adults.
The cause of joint pain may be obvious, such as following a sports injury. At other times it may need investigations and a referral for you to see a specialist to find the diagnosis.
It may also be caused by different structures in or around the joint. The underlying cause may therefore be a problem with:
The lining of the joint.
The bones of the joint or near the joint.
The tendons, ligaments or muscles around the joint.