Experiencing joint pain is no one’s idea of fun. Joint pain can describe pain, discomfort, or inflammation that arises from any part of a joint (cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons), even muscle. However, joint pain most commonly refers to inflammation or pain from within the joint itself caused by arthritis. In some cases, it can be mild. In others, the pain can be unbearable. Some people experience joint pain only after certain activities like running. Other people experience their pain constantly. To help our readers get to the bottom of their joint pain issues, our healthcare providers wanted to detail common causes and potential solutions for joint pain.
Arthritis is the most common cause of joint pain in adults, specifically osteoarthritis and (less commonly) Rheumatoid arthritis. According to the American College of Rheumatology, osteoarthritis is most commonly found in adults over age 40. It tends to progress slowly and affect joints that we use frequently including the wrists, hands, hips, and knees due to the cartilage in the joints becoming worn down. Rheumatoid arthritis affects roughly 1.5 million American adults. It is more common for women than men. The condition causes pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup in the joints as the body’s immune system attacks the membrane that lines the joints. Other common causes of joint pain include:
- A past injury
- Bursitis (inflammation of the cushioning pads around joints)
- Infectious diseases including mumps, hepatitis, and the flu
- Medical conditions like lupus, gout, or fibromyalgia
- Tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon in the joint)
- Overuse of a joint over time
- Certain forms of cancer
- Bone conditions like osteoporosis
Treatment for joint pain can take many forms. Certain lifestyle alterations like losing weight, exercising regularly, and stretching before and after physical activity can make a difference for some people. Medications to treat inflammation or other underlying causes of pain can sometimes help. Physical therapy may also be able to help in some cases. Surgery to repair or even replace an especially painful joint can be performed if necessary. We will work to get down to the root cause of your pain before making any treatment recommendations.
No one should have to go through life in chronic pain. Our healthcare providers have considerable experience diagnosing and treating causes of chronic pain to help our patients manage their symptoms and get back to the things they love. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Family Practice Center today. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, practice updates, and more.