joint health

Joint pain is a common symptom of diseases and injuries that affect the joints, tendons and ligaments. It can occur in one joint or many joints at the same time and can range from mild to debilitating. The most common causes of joint pain are arthritis, injuries and infections. People who experience new or unusual joint pain should visit their doctor, who will perform a physical exam and possibly order blood tests or imaging techniques to help diagnose the problem. Treatment depends on the cause of the pain, but can include medication, therapy and surgery.

The joints in your body are areas where 2 or more bones meet. There are more than 100 types of arthritis diseases, which are called rheumatic conditions. They can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. These diseases can also damage the tendons, muscles and ligaments that support your joints. These diseases can occur in children and adults, but are more common in older people.

Most types of joint health are inflammatory, which means that the soft tissue around the joint is inflamed. The most common type of inflammatory arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), which causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Over time, the bones rub together in the joint and wear down the cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones. This can lead to the formation of small bone growths, called osteophytes, in and around the joint. Eventually the shape of the bone changes and the joint loses its smooth, healthy appearance.

What are some common causes of joint pain?

Other inflammatory types of arthritis can cause painful joints, including ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these disorders can cause pain in the spine as well as limb joints. The inflammation of these disorders can also damage the tendons and ligaments of the joints, which can cause weakness that leads to more stress on the joint.

There are other conditions that can cause painful joints, including sprained or strained joints, which may be caused by overstretching or tearing a muscle or tendon in the area. Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, can cause pain and swelling in the joints from high levels of uric acid in the blood.

Infections can also cause painful joints, particularly when the infection spreads to the tendons and ligaments of the affected joints. This is true for some infectious diseases, such as shingles, Lyme disease, mumps, influenza (flu) and hepatitis. Other infectious diseases, such as bacterial or viral infections of the sinuses, can also result in joint pain. Bone cancer, which can spread from cancer in other parts of the body, can also cause joint pain. The pain can be throbbing, aching or sharp. It can also come and go. It is usually worse when moving the affected joint and gets better with rest. It can be accompanied by fever, chills and fatigue. Other symptoms of bone cancer include weight loss and vomiting.

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