Our joints are an important part of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Joints in our knees, hips, back, neck, fingers and toes allow us to move freely to perform our everyday duties and to enjoy the things we love. But sometimes, pain in our joints gets in the way of our movement.
Things like cartilage, tendons, synovial membrane (thin layer of tissue that lines the surface of a joint), synovial fluid and bursae (sac containing fluid located between the tendon and the bone) help cushion the bones and keep them from rubbing together. This allows joints to move smoothly.
WHAT CAUSES PAIN?
When muscles weaken, tendons are damaged, or the membranes or fluids that cushion the joint are weakened, the bones in the joint begin to rub against one another causing stiffness or pain. Pain can develop slowly over time through degeneration or be caused immediately due to an injury. Pain can be mild or severe, and can affect all aspects of life, making it painful to walk or move to do everyday activities.
The most common cause of pain in a joint is arthritis. Arthritis is the inflammation in a joint, usually caused by degeneration.
Osteoarthritis or Osteoarthosis
Over time, the cartilage in your joints, which is normally smooth, wears down and becomes rough. This causes friction and irritation. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and causes pain or stiffness and decreases flexibility.
Listen as Dr. David Eakin explains more about this condition:
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes pain or stiffness in a joint.
Bursitis causes pain or tenderness due to inflammation of the fluid filled bursae sacs that provide a cushion for a joint.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and other problems in the fingers or hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist.
Listen as Dr. William Doran explains more about this condition:
If you have persistent or disabling pain, you should see a physician. The physician will conduct a physical examination to asses the amount of pain and perform range of motion tests.
Your doctor may also request X-rays of the affected joint to better assess any damage or determine the cause of the pain. Imaging studies such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) or bone densitometry may be conducted and may be used together to better assess the overall condition or cause of the pain. Blood tests may also be performed.
Below, Dr. Eakin explains more about the causes and treatment of joint pain:
Listen as Dr. Michael Ward explains about injury prevention:
TIME TO TALK TO YOUR PHYSICIAN?
Signs and Symptoms include:
Risk Factors include:
Listen as Dr. Piccioni explains the importance of joint health:
Your doctor may recommend treatment options that range from exercise to surgery depending on the cause and severity of the pain. Your doctor will help you with a treatment plan that best suits your need.
For those needing surgery, the Orthopedic Program at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers complete orthopedic and rehabilitation services.
Many orthopedic procedures, such as arthroscopic procedures, will allow you to return home the same day of the surgery. Others require an inpatient stay. Either way, our staff is fully trained to assist you throughout your stay with us.