Joint pain is a common affliction that affects a significant percentage of the population. It can result from too much typing, sitting too long, or just getting older. However, in many cases, joint pain is trying to tell you something. It’s letting you know that something isn’t quite right and you need to change.
The U.S. Library of Medicine defines joint pain as experiencing pain or discomfort around one or more of your joints. You may be experiencing warmth, swelling, a tingling sensation, or a dull ache. In some cases, you might have a short, sharp pain that occurs when moving.
In this post, we take a look at some of the things that your joint pain might be trying to tell you.
You’re Getting Older
It won’t come as any surprise to most people that joint pain gets worse as people age. It’s extremely common in aging people because the soft tissues that cushion the joints start to deteriorate. Bone grinds on bone, leading to higher than normal pressures within joint sockets. Tissues eventually start to break down, become necrotic, and age more rapidly.
The knees and hips are the first places to go for most people, followed by other joints people use most often in their lives. Pain may also start in the hands if you have a history of manual labor.
The trick here is to slow down the rate of aging. Eating plants, practicing yoga, walking regularly, and taking collagen supplements can all help.
You Have A Case Of Bursitis
Bursitis is a condition in which the small fluid-filled sacs in the joints, called the bursa, become swollen and inflamed. When these sacs come under attack by the immune system, they degrade and, eventually, can’t function as they normally would, causing knee pain when squatting and elbow pain when lifting.
Bursitis usually results from a traumatic injury. However, it can also occur if you have unresolved lower back pain and regularly limp around.
If you have bursitis, go and see a physiotherapist. They can attempt to address the underlying issue causing it.
You Have A Thyroid Issue
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the throat and controls hormone production throughout the body. These hormones then affect the functioning of the joints in your body, helping them stay lubricated. If thyroid function begins to fail, it can lead to less lubricative fluid, causing joint pain and other symptoms.
If you have hypothyroidism, meaning that your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, it can make your joints feel tender and painful. Your doctor can test for thyroid hormone levels and then prescribe replacement hormones to top up your levels.
You Could Have Infection Arthritis
Most people think of arthritis as a chronic condition that affects elderly patients. However, there are infectious versions of the disease that can strike at any time, including in younger adults.
Joints can become infected by Staph-type bacteria or Streptococcus. When this happens, it results in intense swelling and pain in the area, followed by fever and chills.
Infections typically develop in the knee joints, though they can impact other parts of the body, including the wrists and ankles. Treating infection usually requires a course of oral antibiotics. However, if there is a risk of sepsis, doctors will prescribe multiple antibiotics intravenously.
You Have Gout
If you spend your days eating steak and drinking wine, your likelihood of developing gout rises significantly. Meat and alcohol change the chemistry in the body, making the internal environment more acidic. This then increases the concentration of uric acid which can crystalize and cause an inflammatory reaction in the joints. Gout symptoms include redness, swelling, and heat.
You can also develop gout if you take beta-blockers or experience regular dehydration. Being obese is also a significant risk factor.
You Might Have Undiagnosed Lyme Disease
Undiagnosed Lyme disease is a major problem in this country. Every year, there are around 30,000 officially-recorded tick bites, though the true number is more likely to be 300,000. Ticks carry a type of infection that gets into your bloodstream when they bite you. Early symptoms include the development of a bulls-eye-shaped rash, fever, and headache.
However, over time, the disease can spread around the body, including into the feet and hands. Your joints may feel stiff and you may begin to experience random pain throughout your body. Over time, it can affect your nervous system, so if you believe you might have Lyme disease, it is critical to get the proper tests.