Joints are nothing but the meeting points of the bones in the body. Joints are amazing sculpting of the human body responsible for the movement within it. Joints, as everyone knows, include shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips. When we experience soreness, aches, or any other form of discomfort in the joints, it is called joint pains. It is a common problem faced by every adult and sometimes even by children. Joint pain can also occur due to injury or illness. Arthritis is the most widespread cause of joint pain, with inflammation and degeneration being other significant joint dysfunction causes.
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Most Common Causes of Joint Pain
Let’s now have a look at some of the most common causes of joint pain-
Arthritis is a condition causing inflammation in one or multiple joints. It is a common disease among adults these days. There exist several types of arthritis causing pain, swelling, difficulty in muscle movement, etc. The two primary and widespread forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis is more common among people above the age of 40. It mainly affects the movement of hands, wrists, knees, and hips. The cartilage that serves as a cushion, as well as a shock absorber among the joints, gets damaged and causes pain in the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is much more common in women as compared to men. It can weaken and even deform the joints if not treated at the right time. Pain, fluid retention in the joints, severe inflammation are common complaints of people with rheumatoid arthritis. RA can give rise to other severe health issues as it makes the immune system attack the membrane that binds the joints.
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Degeneration is the normal wear and tear that builds up over a certain age. The cartilages joining the bones become weary and lead to the narrowing of the space between bones. This causes pain and difficulty in the movement of joints. Deficiency of essential nutrients such as calcium or vitamin D, lack of exercise, old age, menopause, etc., are some of the common causes of bone degeneration. Brittle and weak bones can impair overall body function. Hence, proper care and attention should be given to these problems so that they do not lead to other severe joint and health problems in the future.
As mentioned above, RA and OA are the main forms of inflammation, causing joint ache in the body. However, many other forms of inflammation occur in an individual’s daily life and cause joint pain. To keep inflammation at a distance, we must first know what it means. Inflammation is a routine activity that the body performs by secreting several chemicals that help break down unwanted substances and remove them from the body—this a healthy function as it protects the organ tissues from invading organisms such as bacteria and viruses.
Inflammation, hence, protects from infection build-up by these foreign intruders along with the spread of a single infection to other parts of the body. If not controlled by the body’s auto-immune process at the right time, tissue damage can be triggered, leading to an impairment of the whole organ function. Hence inflammation is a vital body activity strengthening the body’s immune system. However, a condition such as auto-immunity may confuse the immune system with the body tissues as the invading organisms. Under such a situation, the immune system starts attacking the healthy body tissues and can destroy that particular body part or organs. Several joints also fall prey to this mistake of the body’s immune system; Bursitis, lupus, and gout are common joint issues that arise due to this confusion. Thus joint inflammation needs proper care and timely treatment.
Injuries can cause structural dysfunction to the tissues of joint bones. Tendinitis, chondromalacia, ligaments impairment can affect the joint structure and lead to various diseases.
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Symptoms of Joint pain
If you are not able to understand the possible cause of the joint pain, you should consult a doctor. The annoying unexplained joint pain symptoms can be tricky and require fast relief. Here is a list of some common and severe joint pain symptoms-
- Pain– If pain remains for 3 days or more, you should see a doctor quickly. Pain can occur in the joints or related organs of the joint in the body.
- Swelling– Swelling, redness, tenderness are all caused by inflammation. The persistence of swelling needs fast medical attention.
- Stiffness– Stiffness is another symptom of joint pain that can restrict excessive movement in order to protect a damaged part or body organ.
- Hampered movement– This is one of the most commonly experienced symptoms of joint pain. Joint movement can get hampered due to an injury, possible deformation of joints, severe pain, complete immobility, and other similar reasons. In these cases, you need to rush to a doctor to get the problem addressed quickly.
- Fever– If you have a fever but no other flu symptoms, it may be possible that it’s just a systematic issue in the body created by joint pain. Thus you need to get it checked by a doctor before it affects any other body organ.
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Treatments of Joint Pain
It is recommended to consult a doctor to get the joint pain examined and narrow down the possible causes. The doctor can prescribe an X-ray and other tests to understand autoimmune joint disorders’ root cause. You can visit an Ayurvedic expert or an allopathy medical practitioner as per your preference of treatment. Some joint and muscle pains can even get treated at home if they are not severe or do not occur regularly.
Here are some popular types of treatments for Joint pains-
Home Remedies for Joint Pain
As mentioned above, only expert medical practitioners should address chronic diseases like Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. However, to manage irregular joint pains, minor joint pain injuries, temporary inflammation and swelling, one can resort to home remedies. These include taking painkillers or other anti-inflammatory medications, moderate exercise, stretching, oil or ointment massage, warm sea salt bath, etc. Such home remedies can provide relief; however, seeking professional health help becomes mandatory if they are not effective enough to treat the problem in the long run.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Joints Problems
Proving its efficacy for ages, Ayurveda is a reliable and effective remedy to treat various ailments. The best part about this ancient medical system is that it has an all-natural healing approach. Ayurvedic medicines are famous for their anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. Ayurveda suggests a pattern of healing according to the intensity of the health concern. For milder health concerns, it suggests light foods, fluids, and rest. It recommends herbal decoctions to improve metabolic activity for treating moderate toxicity. For extreme intoxication required for severe diseases, Ayurveda suggests Panchakarma, i.e., the 5 cellular purification methods.
Ayurveda is popular for its various herbs used to treat inflammation. These herbs can treat joint pains as well. For instance, Shilajit is a powerful Ayurvedic roushadhi to boost stamina and enhance metabolic activity. Ayurvedic experts use and recommend it to cure inflammation caused by joint dysfunction. The anti-inflammatory action by Shilajit provides relief from the pain and rejuvenates energy in the body.
Conventional Allopathic Treatment
Analgesics, i.e., pain relief drugs, are used for moderate joint pains under Allopathic medical treatment. These are anti-inflammatory drugs provided in combination with physical therapy, such as cold/hot packs and using sophisticated modern machines or tools to target inflammation pain. Disease Modifying anti-Rheumatic drugs (DMRDs) are famous for inflammation caused by autoimmunity. Steroids, Methotrexate, Hydro-chloroquine, Sulfasalazine, and several other compounds have erupted in the category of DMRDs over recent years. These TNF alpha inhibitors are modern and effective drugs used to control inflammation and treat joint pains. However, these drugs can have a severe adverse impact on the body and are very expensive.
The allopathic treatments are modern and advanced, thus providing joint replacement surgery for extreme and severe joint degeneration problems. However, the replaced artificial joint’s life is limited in terms of function and subjective suitability for different people.
Hence it is recommended to treat mild or moderate joint pains as simply as possible. Allopathic treatments are expensive and can have an adverse impact on people already having certain medical conditions. Thus they should be ascribed in severe or extreme joint pain and inflammation. Ayurvedic treatments and some natural home remedies are better and viable options that have the ability to treat joint pain and mild inflammation in a natural way without leaving any side effects on the body.