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Home / Health

Why you have joint pain and how to ease it

 Joint pain is a common complaint and may be caused by a number of reasons some of which can be justified and written off (Shutterstock)

If you had a rigorous day at the gym or lifted a 20-liter bottle of water off the ground after days of very little physical activity, chances are you will experience some discomfort hours later or the next morning.

But you are not alone.

A common complaint, it may be caused by a number of reasons some of which can be justified and written off. But if you find the pain is not going away, then it is a very good reason to pay your doctor a visit for an accurate diagnosis.

Joint pains refer to discomfort, aches and soreness around one or multiple joints.

Joints allow your skeleton to move and is where your bones meet and they are categorized into three.

Fibrous joints like the cranium are immovable, cartilaginous are those where the cartilage joins two bones like your left and right pubic bone and lastly, where your limbs move freely due to the cavity containing synovial fluid is the synovial joint. Examples include your knees, hips, elbows and shoulders.

Ranging from a mild ache to a severe, burning or sharp sensation, it could be associated with other symptoms like swelling, fever and stiffness.

Many factors and underlying conditions could be the cause of your joint pain. Here are some reasons that might be behind your agony and what you can do about it.

Injury

If you had an old injury working out or accident related that was never treated well, it can lead to joint pains. The impact could have caused a fracture, strain or sprain leading to inflammation over time.

That is why, for instance, people who especially play contact sports like football are at more risk of contracting arthritis years later in their life.

Age

Yes, really. The reason may be that simple. Considering your bones have been supporting you all your life, the gel like substance that helps cushion your joints wears down with time.

Chances are, the older you get the higher the chances of developing osteoarthritis in some of your joints due to the wear and tear.

If your job involves heavy lifting, your shoulders may also pay the price at one point.

 The gel like substance that helps cushion your joints wears down with time and you can end up with joint pains (Shutterstock)
It could be a sign of arthritis

The truth is, the cause of arthritis varies and there are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis The most common ones are osteoarthritis, gout, septic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

When the uric acid in your body crystalizes, you will develop gout. The avid spreads into your body getting into the joint spaces which leads to inflammation.

Septic arthritis mostly has its roots in bacterial infections. The bacteria find a way to get into the synovial fluid degrading the cartilage resulting in arthritis.

RA or rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune response to a trigger that sadly affects more women than men. Classic symptoms include stiffness, tender and swollen joints in the morning. It may also be accompanied with unexplained weight loss, fatigue and fever.

Infection

Flu like illnesses that come with high fevers may cause the body joints to ache. You will notice pain all over or in the joints that can’t be explained.

 

The next important thing becomes what to do next to ease the pain.

Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause. In some cases, your doctor needs to draw out the accumulated fluid in your joints to test for gout or other infections.

Once diagnosed your doctor may prescribe pain medication for pain management, antibiotics or antivirals to reduce the symptoms and surgery in severe cases to replace a joint.

Other options you may be presented with include losing weight, lifestyle changes or physical therapy.

Home remedies include taking a warm bath, stretching, resting and massages.

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