16 Oct Possible Causes of Joint Pain Besides Arthritis
Your body’s joints act as hinges so you can walk, wave at a friend, or swing a baseball bat with ease. However, even these simple activities become difficult or impossible if your joints are injured, swollen, or infected. If you have already ruled out arthritis as a possibility, consider these other potential causes of joint pain.
A joint injury may cause acute pain that lasts for up to a few weeks. The injury may damage your bones, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. If not cared for early on, acute pain from an injury could linger and become chronic pain. Even after a joint injury heals, you may have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis in that area years later.
- Common joint injuries include:
- Torn ligaments
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Sprains and strains
Infected or Tumorous Joints
Bacterial, viral, and fungal infections occur when germs enter your body through your nose, mouth, ears, or an open wound. If the infection settles in a joint, pain can occur. With prompt treatment, joint infections usually resolve themselves. However, delaying or forgoing treatment could cause permanent joint damage.
Tumors can also cause joint pain if a bone tumor or soft-tissue tumor develops near a joint. The synovium, or joint lining, can also develop tumors. These are noncancerous, but they can still cause severe damage to your joints. Therefore, you should have them removed promptly.
Inflammation can result from a joint injury, disease, or infection. Osteoarthritis is characterized by joint inflammation, but if you’re confident that’s not the condition you’re dealing with, consider these other possibilities:
- Bursitis – This overuse injury is common among construction workers and other manual laborers. It most commonly affects the shoulders, knees, elbows, and hips.
- Tendonitis – Repetitive movements are a common cause of tendonitis. There are hundreds of tendons throughout the body that can become inflamed due to overuse, but the most common locations for this condition include the elbow, shoulder, wrist, knee, and ankle.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – Unlike osteoarthritis, which is a wear-and-tear condition, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. It attacks the joints—particularly those in the hands, wrists, and knees—as well as other tissues throughout the body, including the eyes, heart, and lungs.
- Psoriatic arthritis – This is another autoimmune disease that affects the joints, as well as the skin and nails. In about 85 percent of cases, the skin condition psoriasis precedes psoriatic arthritis.
- Lupus – The inflammation caused by this autoimmune disease can affect your joints, skin, blood, and organs. It’s difficult to diagnose because its symptoms often mimic other ailments. One telltale sign of lupus is a facial rash that resembles butterfly wings spread over both cheeks.
- Gout – This common and complex form of arthritis is caused by an excessive amount of uric acid in the blood. Gout most often affects the first joint of the big toe.
- Lyme disease – In its early stages, this bacterial infection transmitted by ticks is characterized by a rash, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and flu-like symptoms. If left untreated, joint pain and neurological problems could develop.
Tips for Treating Joint Pain
At Mile High Spine, we treat joint pain caused by injuries and inflammation. (If you are diagnosed with an infection or tumor in your joints, medications or surgery may be necessary to heal your ailment.) Here are the non-invasive treatments we offer patients struggling with joint pain:
- Chiropractic care – Properly aligning your spine relieves muscle tension that may be pulling on or straining your joints. Chiropractic care also improves your range of motion and stimulates blood flow, promoting healing in the damaged area.
- Massage therapy – Working out muscle tension can have tremendous healing effects for the body. Often combined with chiropractic care, massage is an effective method for restoring flexibility. After a few weeks of treatment, you should begin to see an improvement in how much you can move.
- Joint injections – Our cortisone injections combat inflammation and lubricate your joints to relieve grinding pain. These shots can help you remain pain-free for weeks at a time while undergoing other concurrent treatments.
- Exercise programs –Therapeutic stretches and exercises help your joints become healthier and less painful. We’ll design a program for you that builds muscle strength without causing further irritation to your sensitive joints.
- Stem cell therapy – Injuries or inflammation involving the ligaments, tendons, cartilage, or bones may benefit from stem cell therapy. The procedure consists of injecting amniotic stem cells into the affected area, providing your body with the building blocks it needs to repair the damage right at the source. This therapy has an incredible success rate for treating joint pain, so if prescription drugs aren’t working well for you, it could be worth a try!
Mile High Spine & Pain Center offers effective treatments for arthritis and other causes of joint pain. With numerous natural, affordable options available, you may finally be able to do away with debilitating pain. Contact us at (720) 507-0080 to schedule a free joint pain consultation at our Broomfield clinic today.