Too often, individuals neglect the joints in their bodies and the functions they perform on a regular basis. Without the joints, the body could not move and operate properly. Therefore, the joints are very important. And, when joint pain occurs it is imperative that individuals understand what is causing the pain and why. It should be treated or at least managed to avoid further problems. Also, a person with joint pain might experience extreme discomfort. Therefore, here is some information to help those that experience joint pain.
When a person has joint pain, it can be almost anywhere in the body. There are joints from the fingers to the toes, and anywhere a part of the body bends it's possible that there will be pain. There are even joints in the jaw. A lot of places in the body people might not realize have joints. Pain can come from all sorts of things, and the way the pain feels is also very different depending on what's causing it.
It could be sharp and stabbing or dull and achy, but it's very uncomfortable either way. It can also be in only one joint or it could be all through the joints, meaning that all of them were aching at once. That could be much more severe and debilitating than one aching joint, but even one is sometimes enough to cause a problem or slow a person down, depending on the joint.
Because there are so many things that could cause joint pain it's impossible to list them all. Yet, it is always important to address joint pain if it is causing an issue. And some of the most common causes of joint pain are addressed here.
• Injury – one of the main reasons that a joint will hurt is because a person has been injured in that joint. That's a serious problem if the injury is severe, because people use their joints all the time. Especially if you've injured a large joint that's used very often, like a hip, knee, shoulder, or elbow joint, just doing normal things in both a personal and professional life can be difficult. One of the most common injuries of the joint is a fracture. This usually occurs from an accident, however it is common in child abuse or in runners.
• Arthritis – a lot of people, especially as they get older, develop arthritis in one or more joints. If they have it all throughout their bodies it can really cause them serious pain and discomfort. Because arthritis causes both pain and stiffness in the joints, even doing everyday things can be difficult to handle. Arthritis can appear in all of the joints, some of them, or just one of them, depending on the person. In addition there are various types of arthritis to be aware of.
• Fibromyalgia – people who have this condition have pain in their joints and in their muscles. They hurt all over, and that can make their joints throb and ache. That's something that they really can struggle with, especially since they can't always find relief and a lot of doctors don't take them or their problems seriously.
• Overuse, Sprains, Strains – This is a specific type of injury that could occur from exercise of using the joint incorrectly. Usually the ligament attached to the joint stretches too far and tears. The joint can become painful and swell.
• Septic Arthritis – this type of arthritis occurs when the inflammation of the joint is caused by a bacteria infection. The bacteria can spread through the bloodstream.
• Tendonitis – this condition is inflammation, irritation, and swelling of a tendon. The tendon is the fibrous structure that joins the muscle to the bone. Sometimes this is a result of injury, other times it is a result of overuse or aging of the tendon.
• Autoimmune Diseases – Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus are both examples of autoimmune diseases that cause inflammation in the joints.
• Bursitis – this occurs when the sac between the tendon and the skin or the tendon and the bone becomes inflamed. This could become a chronic condition.
• Chondromalacia Patellae – this is the softening and degeneration of the cartilage under the kneecap. This occurs commonly in adolescents and young adults.
• Gout – this is a type of arthritis that affects the big toe and spreads to other areas of the body. It causes an attack in the joints and is thought to occur because of a build up of uric acid in the joints.
• Osteomyelitis – this is an acute or chronic bone infection caused by bacteria
Joint pain can be treated, but what causes it will address the way that it is treated and the best choices for relieving it. Here are some of the most common options for joint pain treatment.
• If a joint has been injured, it normally needs to be rested. Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers are also an option to help the pain while the joint heals. Even though it only masks the problem and doesn't correct it, it can dull the discomfort while the joint heals up. It's important at that time, though, to remember not to dull the joint pain so much that the injured person ends up overworking the joint because it doesn't hurt anymore.
• Medications, either over-the-counter or prescription, are common for problems like arthritis and fibromyalgia. These lower the level of pain and discomfort so that a person can go on with his or her life, but they aren't cures for either of the conditions. Anti-inflammatory medications are best for drugs to relieve pain and swelling. Try aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
• Stop using the joint in ways that could increase the pain.
• Ice the joint pain for 15 to 20 minutes a few times each day.
If the joint pain is not serious or life threatening, much of the pain management is up to the individual. This is often a problem that is more long term. Thus, coping becomes the goal. Therefore, individuals should listen to the advice of their doctors and do their best to follow the counsel. Take the recommended medications and lay off the joint whenever possible.
If the joint pain is the result of an injury, healing from the injury will occur faster if the person is more focused on treating and resting the injured area on the body. For example, an injured knee will not get better if the person continues to put a lot of pressure of the leg. Therefore, be smart about the situation. In time, progress will be made. Also, if questions arise, the doctor is always available for a consultation. Take advantage of the doctor whenever his or her expertise is needed.
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