Chronic Joint and Muscle Pain is a worrisome condition where the pain is long-lasting and extremely severe. It is a growing problem all over the world, and a leading reason for disability. It is most common in older people although it can occur at any young adult age. There are different types of joint pains depending on the severity and area of pain.

 

A joint is where two bones come together. The ends of these bones are covered with a protective tissue called cartilage. With joint pain, this cartilage breaks down, causing the bones within the joint to rub together. This can cause pain, stiffness, and other symptoms like rash, fever, eye pain, or mouth sores.

CAUSES

One of the most common causes of joint pain is arthritis. The two main forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

 

OA is most common in adults over the age of 40. It progresses slowly and tends to affect commonly used joints like the:

  • wrists
  • hands
  • hips
  • Knees

 

Joint pain due to OA results from a breakdown of the cartilage that serves as a cushion and shock absorber for the joints.

 

The second form of arthritis is RA. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it more commonly affects women than men. It can deform and debilitate the joints over time. RA causes pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup in the joints as the body’s immune system attacks the membrane that lines the joints.

 

Other causes of joint damage include past injury, such as:

  • torn cartilage
  • dislocated joints
  • ligament injuries

 

They also include joint malformation, obesity, and poor posture. Certain risk factors, such as family history and gender, increase your risk of osteoarthritis.

SYMPTOMS

Severe arthritis, particularly if it affects your hands or arms, can make it difficult for you to do daily tasks. Arthritis of weight-bearing joints can keep you from walking comfortably or sitting up straight. In some cases, joints may become twisted and deformed.

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • pain
  • tenderness (discomfort when pressing on the area with your fingers)
  • stiffness
  • inflammation

 

As it becomes more advanced, the pain associated with it may become more intense. Over time, swelling in the joint and surrounding area may also occur. Recognizing the early symptoms of arthritis can help you to better manage the condition.

TREATMENT

Joint Pain treatment is centered upon symptom management. The type of treatment that will help you the most will largely be determined by the severity of your symptoms and their location. Often, lifestyle changes, over-the-counter (OTC) medication and home remedies will be enough to provide you with relief from pain, stiffness, and swelling.

 

Symptoms can usually be relieved before the diagnosis is known. Inflammation can usually be relieved with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Pain without inflammation is usually treated more safely with acetaminophen. Immobilizing the joint with a splint or sling can sometimes relieve pain. After the acute pain and inflammation have lessened, physical therapy may be useful to regain or maintain range of motion and strengthen surrounding muscles.

Chronic Joint & Muscle Pain (arthritis) is a condition that doesn’t have a cure, but with treatment, the outlook is positive. Don’t ignore symptoms of chronic joint pain and stiffness. The sooner you speak with your doctor, the sooner you can receive a diagnosis, begin treatment, and improve your quality of life.

 

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