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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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