Causes of Joint Pain and Stiffness

Joints are where two or more bones meet, and they allow for movement and flexibility. When we think of joints, some common ones come to mind: hip, shoulder, wrist, and knee. However, there are hundreds of joints in the body, and they can be the cause of great pain.

Anatomy of a Joint

Many joints are the combination of various structures working together: bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, synovial fluid, and other connective tissues. If any of these parts weaken or become damaged, pain can result.

 

Causes of Joint Pain

 

Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is one of the more common reasons for joint pain. While there are many types of arthritis, the two main types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA involves the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage allows joints to move and glide smoothly past each other; however, when it breaks down, bones grind on each other. This causes pain. OA often affects wrists, knees, and hips.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA, on the other hand, causes inflammation and fluid buildup in the joints. RA usually affects more women than men.

 

Gout

Gout is another type of arthritis and involves uric acid building up in the blood. It also causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints. While the exact cause of gout isn’t known, some risk factors include: a family history of gout, people who drink alcohol, diabetes, obesity, and kidney disease.

 

Joint Injury, Strain, or Sprain

Joint injury can be due to trauma or from overuse. If you play a sport or exercise/run a lot, you may be at risk for developing a joint injury. Also, if your job requires certain physical tasks, then you may also be at risk.

 

Infections

Some infections can cause joint aches, such as the cold, flu, Lyme disease, and hepatitis.

 

Tendinitis

Tendinitis occurs when a tendon is inflamed. Common joints that experience tendinitis include the heel, shoulder, and wrist.

 

Bursitis

Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that help reduce friction in joints. Bursitis occurs when these bursae are inflamed. They can become inflamed and cause joint pain when joints are overused or if trauma occurs.


If you are experiencing joint pain, consider visiting a pain specialist. Apex Medical Center has a team of Las Vegas pain specialists ready to help you find pain relief. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


Image courtesy of stockdevil at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Apex Medical Center

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