Joint Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Joint Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Photo source: Getty images

This kind of pain is the result of degenerative changes that are not only present in the elderly. Joint pain occurs frequently as a result of an infectious disease, inflammation or a symptom of another illness, for example, influenza. Very often, it is the result of excessive strain, poor posture or inappropriate footwear.

Joint pain can be related, for example, to overloading of joints and limbs, or to natural wear and tear, temporary fatigue, even a harmless cold.

It may be a symptom of a more serious disease.

The disease is either related to the joint itself, or it may just be a secondary symptom of another disease that has its cause somewhere else.

It is for this reason that the symptoms associated with a painful joint should never be underestimated or neglected.

What causes joint pain and what causes it?
What other symptoms go along with it?
How to get rid of it and get it cured?

It occurs after an injury

Injury is a common cause of joint and bone pain. In an accident, there can be a bump, but also a fracture. After a fall or blunt trauma, an examination using X-ray or CT scan is advisable.

Further treatment is decided by the doctor on the basis of examinations.

Disproportionate load, posture, bad weather

Joint and muscle pain is common after exercise, but also after excessive physical exertion. Muscle and joint fatigue manifests as pain. Depending on the type of load, it is the load and fatigue that can cause pain in the joints of the whole body, but also in individual parts.

It is possible to feel pain in the spine or limbs, shoulders, elbows or knees after exercise. The location depends on where the load was applied or where the load was transferred.

Similarly, this is also the case when sitting or doing sedentary work. Excessive load, which is provoked by the sitting position on the joints, will cause pain. Most often, if the sitting is prolonged.

After a certain period of time, e.g. after sitting for an hour, a change of position is advisable, namely standing or walking.

Joint pain can also be caused if the person is overweight, which can only be addressed by changing lifestyle and diet. Weight gain also occurs in pregnancy with increased joint pain.

In addition, during pregnancy, the overall nutritional requirement increases. A lack of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other necessary substances can cause a number of symptoms, as well as joint or muscle pain.

Posture is an important factor. Incorrect form puts an unreasonable and unnatural strain on the joint area, especially the spine. Long-term negative action influences degenerative changes and, of course, the development of pain.

Sleep position is also related to posture and appropriate positioning. Also the use of a suitable mattress. For example, lying on the stomach puts undue strain on the spine, especially the cervical area. This results in joint and spinal pain at night and after sleep.

Proper footwear is crucial: poor soles, improperly shaped insoles, as well as high heels or tight shoes, increase the load on the joints of the lower limbs and feet. This results in pain in the feet, ankles, knees and hips.

Some people are sensitive to weather change.

Weather painsweather-related pain, or meteoropathy causes joint pain as well as other discomforts:

  • headache
  • Muscle
  • surgical scars
  • pain at the fracture site
  • indigestion
  • mood changes
  • malaise, weakness, fatigue
  • concentration disorders
  • difficulty breathing
Changing weather and joint pain are linked
Joint pain is seasonal, and is exacerbated by changes in the weather. Photo: Getty images

Diseases of the joints

If the joint pain was not preceded by an accident, injury, fall, bump or other external cause, or if it was not excessively burdened by physical activity, it can be assumed that the pain is a symptom of a disease.

Most often it is either primary pain, i.e. the problem is directly in the joint itself. Many times the pain is also manifested by other diseases in the body, whether infectious, inflammatory or even tumour.

Diseases that are directly related to the joints are manifested in the specific affected joint, or in several joints at the same time.

These include, for example, ailments and diseases such as:

  • inflammation of the joint, i.e. arthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • gout, which has been known since antiquity, as a disease of kings and the upper classes
  • arthrosis, osteoarthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

Arthritis, in turn, is an inflammatory disease directly related to a specific joint. The disease can take both infectious and non-infectious forms. This name also combines rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and also DNA disease.

Rheumatism, or rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease. It primarily affects small joints, especially the joints of the fingers, later the hand itself and also the wrist area. It then affects the elbows, knees and also the cervical spine.

Gout is caused by an imbalance between the production and excretion of uric acid and its salts from the body. If there is an excess of this acid in the body, it is deposited in the form of crystals, most often in the joints. But also in the form of kidney stones.

The pain is mainly manifested in the joints. First of all, pain arises in the joints of the fingers, namely the big toe or hand. In addition to pain, swelling, redness and limited mobility are present.

There are several different forms of arthritis, which are also manifested by joint pain.

On the other hand, large joints are affected by arthrosis, which is a degenerative but non-inflammatory disease that leads to a gradual loss of articular cartilage and limited mobility.

The head and foramen of the temporomandibular joint
Temporomandibular joint disorders cause pain in the joints, especially when chewing. Photo: Getty images

Pain in the temporomandibular joint occurs in temporomandibular joint disorders. In addition to the pain itself, it is possible to feel pain in the temple, especially when chewing, muscle stiffness, limited mobility, popping or cracking in the joint, pain in the ear, whistling in the ears, as well as pain behind the eye.

These disorders occur as a result of injury, bite problems, degenerative diseases, rheumatism, as a consequence of teeth grinding. They are also present in stress, depression and even after inflammation.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease that develops very slowly and manifests itself mainly by joint stiffness, joint pain and often also spinal pain. The stiffness occurs because the disease causes the cartilage and ligaments in the joint to be replaced by bone tissue, which is hard.

Learn more: Joint diseases

Other diseases that are the cause of joint pain

That's not all. Painful joints also accompany various other diseases. And these relate to other parts of the body.

Examples include:

  • chlamydial infection
  • syphilis
  • yeast infection
  • tick-borne encephalitis
  • Lyme disease (Borreliosis)
  • influenza, well-known pain in the muscles and joints of the whole body
  • infective endocarditis
  • pneumonia
  • jaundice
  • leukaemia
  • Crohn's disease
  • haemophilia
  • pituitary adenoma

Joint Pain|Causes|Treatment|Prevention

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Interesting resources

  • Joe G. Hardin. "Arthralgia". Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
  • James R Philp. "Allergic Drug Reactions - Systemic Allergic Drug Reactions". Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations.
  • Joe G. Hardin. "Table 161.1. Some Common Regional Rheumatic Syndromes". Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations.
  • Loris McVittie. "Information from CDC and FDA on the Safety of Gardasil Vaccine". supplement to your biologics license application (BLA) for Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16 and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant (GARDASIL), to include arthralgia, myalgia, asthenia, fatigue, and malaise in the Adverse Reactions section of the package insert. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
  • Table 6-8 in: Elizabeth D Agabegi; Agabegi, Steven S. (2008). Step-Up to Medicine (Step-Up Series). Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 978-0-7817-7153-5.
  • Diagnosis lag time of median 4 weeks, and median diagnosis lag time of 18 weeks, taken from: Chan, K. W.; Felson, D. T.; Yood, R. A.; Walker, A. M. (1994). "The lag time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis". Arthritis and Rheumatism37 (6): 814–820. 
  • Doria, A.; Zen, M.; Canova, M.; Bettio, S.; Bassi, N.; Nalotto, L.; Rampudda, M.; Ghirardello, A.; Iaccarino, L. (2010). "SLE diagnosis and treatment: When early is early". Autoimmunity Reviews10 (1): 55–60. 
  • Page 740 (upper right of page) in: Schaider, Jeffrey; Wolfson, Allan B.; Hendey, Gregory W.; Ling, Louis; Rosen, Carlo L. (2009). Harwood-Nuss' Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine (Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine (Harwood-Nuss)). Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 978-0-7817-8943-1.
  • Passier, Anneke; van Puijenbroek, Eugene (November 2005). "Mirtazapine-induced arthralgia". British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology60 (5): 570–572. 
  • "Table 159mptomatic Extraarticular Features of the Connective Tissue Diseases and the Spondyloarthropathies". Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations.
  • "Pain Management". Arthritis Action UK.
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