Joint pain is a symptom that is typically caused by a disease, condition, or other type of injury that is not specific to the joint itself. Joint pain can occur in any of the joints in the human body (shoulders, knees, wrists, elbows, ankles, hips, fingers, and toes).
Joint pain is characterized by discomfort that can range from mild and intermittent to sharp and constant, depending on the underlying cause. People who experience joint pain often have an uncomfortable symptom that accompanies them in their daily lives.
In this publication, we will focus on the main muscular, tendinous, or cartilaginous problems that can trigger the onset of joint pain, so that you can recognize the root cause of your condition.
What is joint pain?
Joint pain or arthralgia is a symptom that frequently occurs when individuals experience an inflammatory process resulting from a previous disorder or injury. The goal during a consultation is to identify the source of the pain in order to establish a treatment method that resolves the underlying problem and, therefore, helps alleviate the arthralgia.
The human body contains over 350 joints, which can be classified based on their structure or function. Based on structure, we have fibrous, cartilaginous, and synovial joints, while the functional classification includes synarthrosis (rigid joints), amphiarthrosis (cartilaginous joints with limited movement), and diarthrosis (synovial joints with extensive mobility).
Diagnosis of joint pain
Joint pain can occur in one or more joints of the body. Depending on the location and symptomatic manifestations observed during the physical examination, we can interpret these signals and determine the origin of the condition leading to joint pain.
Thus, joint pain can affect any joint-containing structure, such as the shoulders, knees, wrists, elbows, hips, ankles, hands, and feet.
Symptoms of joint pain
Joint pain is a symptom in itself. However, at times, joint pain may be accompanied by sharp sensations and characteristic signs of an inflammatory process, such as swelling, redness, tenderness, pain upon touch, joint stiffness, reduced mobility, and increased temperature in the affected area.
Due to its diverse nature, joint pain can manifest suddenly or progressively worsen as the underlying disease worsens.
Causes of joint pain
Among the conditions that commonly cause joint pain are:
Treatments for joint pain
As mentioned, medical treatment focuses on addressing the underlying cause of joint pain. Therefore, the treatment method to be used should be evaluated and applied considering each patient’s condition.
Patients with lupus will require an approach that inhibits their immune system, while someone with, for example, gonococcal arthritis will need antibiotic-based treatment.
In addition to the use of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, surgical drainage, and physiotherapy are also alternatives within the initial treatment.
Typically, joint pain is a warning sign of a more complex disorder. If you have been experiencing joint pain for several days and the symptoms do not improve, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rebollón to address your concerns and obtain an accurate diagnosis.