The 10 Most Common Causes of Joint Pain

The 10 Most Common Causes of Joint Pain

An estimated 22.7% percent of adults in the United States have some form of arthritis. They experience persistent pain, swelling and mobility issues, but arthritis isn't the only cause of joint pain. Untreated, permanent harm may result. Find out the common causes of joint pain.

1. Osteoarthritis

You'll most commonly experience osteoarthritis in the hands, knees, hips and spine. Those with this condition have eroding cartilage at the end of their bones. Over time, joint damage occurs.

Osteoarthritis progression can be slowed, but you cannot reverse the joint damage that has already taken place. It impacts flexibility as well as causing pain, stiffness and often a grinding sound when you move the joint.

2. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. That means that your immune system is attacking your own body. When people experience chronic inflammation even though there's no real threat, that's an autoimmune response.

Over time, the constant painful inflammation damages the joints and the bones near them. It leads to crippling deformity, but your doctor here at the Northwest Suburban Pain Center can prescribe medications that dramatically reduce the pain and inflammation to reduce the damage that would otherwise occur.

3. Sprains, strains and fractures

Did you recently fall on your wrist while playing tag with your little nephew at the park? Were you in a car accident? These kinds of events may cause sprains, strains and fractures.

If the pain persists for several days, it's important to find out the nature of this sports injury.

4. Lyme disease

Have you been hiking lately? Did you wear insect repellant? Did you find any ticks on your skin?

Lyme disease is a severe type of bacterial infection that attacks the nervous system. If it goes untreated, it causes:

You'll usually see a rash at the bite site that's your skin tone in the center with a red raised circle around it. If treated with antibiotics early, the prognosis is good.

5. Bursitis

You have fluid-filled sacs called bursae. These sacs cushion the bones. The suffix "-itis" means inflammation. When a bursa becomes inflamed, you have bursitis, which is very painful.

6. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is used to describe an all-over-the-body painful sensation that may move around. Researchers believe it's caused by the brain sending out faulty pain signals. It often impacts memory, sleep, energy levels and mood. You may have headaches, depression and other related conditions.

Like these other joint-pain-causing disorders, it is treatable.

7. Tendinitis

Generally, tendinitis is an overuse disorder. If you have a job that requires a repetitive motion, eventually a tendon says, "Enough is enough." It becomes inflamed and painful, limiting movement and making it difficult to use that joint.

8. Gout

Gout happens when uric acid builds up in your joints. This acid turns into urate crystals. These cut into the joint tissues. The body responds by trying to pad the tissues with extra fluid, causing chronic, painful inflammation. People most commonly experience gout in their big toe, but it can be in other joints as well.

9. Complex regional pain syndrome

This condition most often occurs after a stroke, injury, surgery or heart attack. After the cause for the pain is remedied, pain persists. A person often experiences muscle spasm, tightening, poor circulation, and tenderness to the touch in that isolated area.

10. Lack of exercise

You've likely heard the saying, "A body in motion stays in motion." This couldn't be more true when it comes to your joints. The joints naturally lubricate and adapt themselves to various stressors, but when they're disused, they become stiff. This eventually leads to pain.

One of the best things you can do for your joints is to take steps to keep them in motion. That may mean addressing a specific condition impacting your joints, or it may require you to dig deep for the motivation you need to stick with an exercise routine.

Are you battling joint pain alone? Do you know what's causing it? Could more damage and pain result if it goes untreated? Don't wait to contact our office.

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