What Causes Painful Joints?
June 5, 2009 by admin
It is hard enough to deal with any type of pain, but when it affects the joints this can be the worst pain of all. The depleting, disturbing affect it can have on your life can be rather significant. The pain of course is just the symptom of the actual problem. Without knowing the cause of painful joints it is almost impossible to treat and rid yourself of the symptom.
Joint pain can be described in several ways. Most commonly it is known as a tenderness or discomfort when touched, swelling or inflammation of the area, a bruised feeling, or restriction from any sort of movement. Each one of these symptoms can have several causes associated with it. Just because you may be 50 years or older doesn’t mean that it is automatically some type of arthritis.
Arthritis is the most commonly diagnosed cause of painful joints. It is the inflammation of joints caused by the wearing down of cartilage, a chronic pain of the joints known as Osteoarthritis. Other types of arthritis associated with joint pain can be Rheumatoid Arthritis and Septic Arthritis. It is important to inform your doctor of any other possible causes before assuming that this is what is causing the awful pain.
Injuries can be another large contributor to painful joints. Swelling and redness, may occur around the injured area when ligaments, or cartilage and bones, within the joint are affected by some type of activity like sports, outdoor activities, or accidents. It is important to put ice on the area and seek medical advice to find out the extent of your injury.
Infectious diseases like rheumatic fever, mumps, chicken pox, hepatitis, bursitis, and influenza can also cause pain in the joints. Lupus or SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) causes a soreness and inflammation of joints. If left undiagnosed and untreated it could result in a much more severe problem than pain. If pain is accompanied with a headache, tiredness, and a bullseye rash, you could be affected by Lyme’s disease.
If the pain is sharply located around the feet, ankles or legs, it may be a case of Gout. This is usually a temporary condition and is treated with a change in diet. Obesity can also cause pain. The added pressure on bones and muscles, inactivity of the muscles and joints, not only cause the pain itself, but can also contribute to injuries. Changing the diet to include more fruits and vegetables, making sure the water intake is at least 8 glasses per day, and including an exercise program in your daily activity will help alleviate both of these causes.
Determining the cause of the painful joints is the most important step. Doctors will be able to diagnose the problem with a physical exam, clinical history, possible X-rays, MRI, or bone scans, and a urine test. Ruling out the possibilities one at a time will be your physician’s objective. Be sure to discuss with them thoroughly the result of these tests for a better understanding of your condition.
Relieving the pain is a main goal, but understanding the cause and treating the problem should be number one. If any of your symptoms are combined with severe headache, upset stomach, fever, or chills, consult your physician immediately. Make sure he or she is made aware of any other symptoms or possible causes to be able to diagnose the problem correctly.