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  Joint pain

Joint pain is also known as arthralgia. It can be caused by injury to ligaments, tendons, and bursae surrounding the joint. Cartilage and bones within the joint can also be involved. Pain can also be a feature of arthritis, infection and a tumor.

Joint Joint pain
Joint pain

There are different causes of joint pain. Arthritis, which means inflammation of the joint is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Osteoarthritis, which is related to wear and tear of cartilage, is a one form of arthritis. Another form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. It results from an overactive immune system associated with inflammation. Causes of arthritis include abnormal metabolism, inheritance. Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are of unclear etiology. Aseptic necrosis is another cause of joint pain. It results from poor blood supply to an area leading to bone death. As a result, the bone will not function normally and in turn will get weak, leading to collapse and fractures. It can be caused by trauma or any damage to the blood vessels leading to a bone. Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa which is a tiny sac filled with fluid that function to reduce friction between tissues. Inflammation occurs as a result of injury, infection or underlying rheumatic condition.

Osteochondritis dissecans can also cause joint pain. It is due to loss of blood supply to a variable amount of bone and it is adjacent cartilage. It can involve any joint, but it is usually affects the knees and elbows. The cause of this disease is not known. Recurrent injuries or growth disturbances are some theories of interests. Gout can be a cause of joint pain. It is a metabolic disease marked by uric acid deposits in joints. Pain usually starts at night and is often throbbing, crushing, or excruciating in character. Warmth, redness and tenderness are associated signs. Tendinitis is another cause. It is inflammation, irritation and swelling of tendons. It is often a result of injury, overuse, or aging when elasticity of the tendon is diminished. It can occur in any tendon especially the shoulder, wrist, heel, and elbow. Osteomyelitis is due to bone infection caused by bacteria. The long bones are usually affected. Bacteria from other regions of the body travel to involve these bones. A recent trauma also contributes to its development. When pus is produced, blood supply to the bone is compromised due to formation of abscess. Fibromyalgia syndrome can also cause joint pain. It resembles rheumatoid arthritis, but it can be distinguished by the predominance of tender points and absence of swollen joints.

Cartilage tear, bone tumor, fracture, sprain and synovial sarcoma, and infectious diseases are other causes of joint pain.

Prescribed therapy should be followed in treating joint pains. Rest and exercise are important for nonarthritic joint pains. Massage, warm baths, and stretching exercises should be administered regularly to maintain joint integrity. Anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs can help relieve swelling and pain. In case of fever, involuntary weight loss of 10 pounds or more, severe unexplained joint pain accompanied by other unexplained symptoms, a doctor should be contacted.

There are many different medications used to treat joint pains. Commonly prescribed drugs are the NSAIDs or the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. COX-2 inhibitors are other inflammatory drugs. COX-2 is a protein in the body that assists in the production of substances that cause discomfort in the joints. Stomach irritation is noted to be a side effect of these two drugs. NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors should not be taken by people who are allergic to aspirin. Corticosteroids are also prescribed to reduce severe pain and swelling. They offer quick and effective pain relief, but they often weaken bones and cartilage.

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