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Understanding Joint Pain

Joint pain can be defined as any pain, discomfort, or inflammation originating from any part of the joint. This includes structures around the joint such as cartilage, bone, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. However, true joint pain refers to pain related to joint diseases like arthritis or arthralgia.

Joint pain can range from a mild soreness to a severe pain that doesn’t allow the joint to bear any weight. Joint health is quite important in your day to day life and there are factors to consider in understanding the causes of joint pain. Thus, helping you on your journey to joint pain relief.

CAUSES OF JOINT PAIN 

Typically, joint diseases, such as arthritis, are to blame for joint pain. Acute and chronic arthritis are two of the most common causes of joint pain. Acute arthritis is usually the result of a viral or bacterial infection, the beginning of a joint disorder, the flare-up of a chronic disorder, or gout. 

Chronic arthritis is most often the result of an inflammatory disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. Chronic arthritis can also commonly originate from a noninflammatory disorder like osteoarthritis, though this is more common among older adults. 

There are also common disorders that can cause a joint to hurt around the outside of the joint. Some of the most common include fibromyalgia, polymyalgia, and bursitis. These affect the structure surrounding the joint causing tenderness and pain.

RISK FACTORS

There are a number of factors that can lead to joint pain. Previous injuries to joints can put a person at risk for having long-term joint pain and a lack of muscle flexibility or strength can make a person more susceptible to joint-related injuries. Overweight people are also at a higher risk for having chronic joint pain because excess weight places more stress on a person’s joints, especially the knees. Over time, this has the potential to lead to chronic knee pain.

According to studies, knee pain is one of the most common consequences of being overweight. Healthy weight loss helps knee pain in the best way possible for long-term results. Even a small amount of weight loss can reduce pain and inflammation in the knees. Overweight people are also more at risk for osteoarthritis, due to the added stress on the knees. 

TREATMENT FOR JOINT PAIN RELIEF

Symptoms can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce swelling and relieve joint pain. The application of cold and heat can help with short-term relief as well. First, apply cold to the affected area by using ice or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Keep that in place for about 15 minutes for deep penetration. Then switch the ice for a heating pad and keep that on the affected area for about 15 minutes as well. 

The methods above can help with immediate joint pain relief. However, treating the underlying issue is the only way to keep joint pain from returning. For example, if a person is having knee pain that is a result of being overweight, then he or she will need to find a healthy weight loss plan, in order to find long-term relief. 

Regardless of the cause of your joint pain, there are treatment options available. If you’re dealing with joint pain, meet with your doctor and discuss a personalized treatment plan for achieving long-term joint pain relief.

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