Joint Pain

Joint Pain

Joints are the body parts where two or more bones meet. Joints provide a connection between bones and allow them to move in several directions. Any impairment in joints from injury or illness can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and associated symptoms. Besides injury and trauma, there could be many possible reasons for joint pain. 

Some of the significant conditions causing joint pain include arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, strains, sprains, bursitis, gout, bone fracture, sickle cell disease, synovial sarcoma, tendinitis, excessive weight, skeletal posture effects, nutrient deficiency, and other injuries. The joint damage affects not only ligaments but also impacts the cartilage and bone of the joint. Joint pain may go away within a week or may last for months depending upon the underlying cause.

Symptoms  

Joint pain is troublesome and debilitating symptoms of several joint conditions. The common signs and symptoms of joint pain include;

  • Joint redness or swelling
  • The sensation of tenderness or warmth in joints
  • Locking of joints
  • Stiffness and weakness
  • Difficulty in motion and body movement
  • Muscle cramps
  • Continuous tiredness and fatigue
  • Feeling of unwell

Treatment Options

Your treatment plan may include one or more of the non-surgical or surgical treatments described below.

Treatment

Treatment procedures vary from person to person. Firstly, the condition causing pain is diagnosed and is then treated. The primary goal is to reduce inflammation or pain and restore mobility. Treatments options include;

Non-surgical treatments

Non-surgical treatment is always the first-line choice of treatment. Some of the significant treatments include   

  • Medications – There are many non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, that help relieve the pain. If these medications don’t work, then opioid prescriptions are used. Muscle relaxants and anti-depressants are also used in some cases.
  • Injections – In the case of chronic joint pain, oral medications may not work. In such cases, steroid medications are directly injected into joints every three to four months. Injections are used mostly for patients with arthritis or tendinitis.
  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy is very useful in strengthening muscles around joints, to improve the range of motion and to soothe joints.
  • Chiropractic care – This is an alternative treatment option used to align the dispositioned joints and bones. If done correctly, it can significantly reduce pain and swelling. 

Surgical treatments 

Surgical treatments are performed when all other treatments fail to provide relief from pain. Surgical procedures depend on the type of condition. Some significant surgical treatment includes;

  • Incision – This process involves small incisions to fix the soft tissues present around the knee, hip, shoulder, and other joints to repair damaged, cartilage, and ligament. 
  • Cutting of bone – This operation involves cutting, removing bone, or adding a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. The process is mostly performed to correct hip dysplasia. In some cases, plates or rods are also inserted to join two broken boned together.
  • K-wires and Nails – These are the small instruments inserted in the affected joints to connect two bones, close the space, or to reduce the mobility. 
  • Arthroplasty – The people who have inflammatory arthritis go through this procedure. Surgeons remove all the affected synovium through open surgery using arthroscopy. 

Dr Ayman Eissa
MBBCh, MSc, MD, FRCA, FMFPRCA

Ayman is a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and is also a specialist in the management of chronic pain in adults.

01709 464200

enquiries@kinvarahospital.co.uk 

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