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Joint pain



Why do Join pain appear?

Joint pain, also called arthralgia, is one of the most common forms of pain, which usually results from traumatic events or osteoarthritis, an age-related degenerative and inflammatory condition of the joints. Other possible causes of joint pain include bacteria (septic arthritis), chronic autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis), tumors near the joint, as well as certain metabolic disorders, such as gout.

Regardless of the cause, joint pain is usually described as deep, dull and aching, unlike skin pain which is always sharp, burning and well localized. It is usually accompanied by joint swelling and stiffness and by an altered function of the joint ranging from a reduced mobility of the joint itself to its complete functional disability.

Depending on the cause, joint pain can be acute (lasting for a few days) or chronic (lasting longer, even years) and it can affect only one joint or more joints. In addition it can be continuous, intermittent or can occur only in certain positions, at rest or during movement.

Options to treat* Join pain

The treatment of joint pain varies depending on the cause. When joint pain is accompanied by inflammation, such as in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, anti-inflammatory drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, and COX2 inhibitors) are effective in relieving the symptoms. Sometimes steroids are needed to provide an immediate relief from joint pain, swelling and inflammation.

Antibiotics can be effective in treating joint pain caused by bacterial infections, while certain dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, can help protect and restore the joint cartilage in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

Doctors often prescribe physical therapy as a treatment option for joint pain. However it is important to remember that exercise can also exacerbate joint pain, and hence it must always be performed according to the doctorís advice. Rest is important, as well, especially when joint pain is not accompanied by inflammation. Therefore, depending on the cause of joint pain, each patient should try to find, in consultation with his or her doctor, an optimal balance between rest and physical activity.

Other treatment options for joint pain include heat or cold therapy, massages, the use of supportive devices (such as splints, braces or walking sticks), and relaxation techniques that can help reduce muscle tension around the affected joints.

Finally it is important to remember that excessive weight can contribute to damage joint tissues and aggravate joint pain. Thatís why overweight or obese people suffering from joint pain are always advised to lose weight, in order to make joint pain treatment more effective.

If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

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*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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