Joint pain: Causes and Management

How to Reduce the Joint Pain

Joint pain is a very common health issue that troubles many people especially older. Joint pain itself is not a disease. Painful joints can be caused due to some reasons such as inflammation of joints, injury, sprain, viral infections and rarely due to cancer.

Joint pain: Causes and Management

Joint pain: Causes and Management

The most common joint that is affected is the knee joint, but the pain of hip joint, ankles, shoulders, feet and hand are also not uncommon.

If we can diagnose the cause of joint pain, then with the help of certain medication and exercises, inflammation and the pain in the joints can be eased, and joint function can be restored and preserved.

Common causes of joint pain


The most common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis. It may be defined as degenerative joint disease that causes inflammation of the joints. It happens when the flexible protective tissues that surround the joints wears down and is characterized by ache, stiffness, pain, and swelling.

This condition may affect any joint of the body and may affect one or more joints. The symptoms may either develop gradually or suddenly. Arthritis is more common in older people but may affect anyone above the age of 20. Also in comparison to males, the incidence of arthritis is more common in females.

2. Gout-

This condition is more common in males. It is characterized by red-hot skin over the joint along with severe pain in the joints. Also, the pain comes in the form of repeated attacks. Gout is a type of arthritis caused due to the deposition of too much uric acid crystals in the joints. Mostly the first joint to be affected by this condition is the big toe.
One of the conditions similar to gout is Pseudogout that affects the knee joints first.

Rheumatoid arthritis-

It is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system starts attacking its tissues. It may affect people of any age group. Here the linings of the joints are affected and is characterized by the inflammation, pain, and swelling.

In the early phases of this disease the symptoms may come and go, and attacks may have a gap of long periods. With time there is an erosion of the bone and deformity. Any of joint of the body, including the joints of the feet and hands, can also be affected by this condition. There is no cure for this disease but with certain medication and physical therapy, the condition of the patient can be improved, and the disease progress can be slowed down.

Ankylosing spondylitis-

It is inflammation of the spine and is characterized by pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips. This condition is more common in men and usually starts in early adulthood. The exact cause of this disease is not known, but it may run in the family and certain genes are believed to be responsible for causing it. By reducing the flexibility of the spine, this condition may cause hunched-forward posture. Usually, this condition is treated by medications and physical therapy, but in rare cases, surgery is required.

Psoriatic arthritis-

This type of arthritis is seen in the patients with psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by itching and scaly rashes on the skin. Not all patients with psoriasis suffers from psoriatic arthritis, but it affects about 30 percent of victims of psoriasis. Along with pain, this condition may also cause stiffness and swelling of the affected joints. This condition may affect all the joints of the body and lead to permanent damage to the surrounding tissues. About 50 percent of psoriatic arthritis is symmetrical where at the same time joints of both sides are affected.

Reactive arthritis-

Earlier known as Reiter’s syndrome this disease is an autoimmune disease. Here pain and swelling in the joint are triggered as a response to infection caused in some other body part. It is a systematic and chronic disease. Most commonly it follows a bacteria or STD infection. The larger joints of, the lower extremity are the most common site of the development.

Besides the pain in the joints, this disease may exhibit 2 more symptoms that are urinary tract infection and red and inflamed eyes. In comparison to females, males are more at the risk of developing it, and the symptoms are more severe in them. Treatment of reactive arthritis depends on the condition of the patient. With certain medicines and exercise, most of its patient recovers fully.

 Juvenile idiopathic arthritis-

It is a common type of arthritis affecting children. It is a chronic disease, and the exact aetiology is unknown.
It is characterized by pain in the joints, swelling, stiffness, tenderness and limping. Also, there may be a rash, weight loss, fever, and irritability. Treatment includes certain medicines, physical therapies and in some cases surgery.

Management of joint pain

Management of the joint pain depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the disease.
In the case, of any cold injury application, rest, anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers are enough to provide you relief. In some cases, physical therapy may be needed to restore the joint function.

In the case of arthritis, anti-inflammatory and certain other medications along with physical therapy may improve your condition and prevent further damage. In some cases, surgery may also be required.
To manage gout beside, the medication changes in diet, such as limiting, the intake of protein decreased intake of alcohol, and proper exercise is found helpful in treating gout.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, immune-suppressing medicines are given.
Biological medication is given to treat ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis
The outcome of the joint pain depends on the evaluation and the treatment plan. In the case of severe pain, any deformity or disability reports your doctor immediately.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.