Joint pain can be caused by many types of injuries or conditions. No matter what causes it, joint pain can be very bothersome.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes stiffness and pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis involves growth of bone spurs and degeneration of cartilage at a joint. It is very common in adults older than 45 and can cause joint pain.
Joint pain may also be caused by bursitis (inflammation of the bursae). The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion and pad bony prominences, allowing muscles and tendons to move freely over the bone.
Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection, and can be a feature of tumors of the joint. Joint pain is also referred to as arthralgia
- Getting regular exercise. Exercising can improve overall health and fitness. It also keeps joints moving and strengthens the muscles and bones around them.
- Using good body mechanics, posture and ergonomics. Joints can be protected by using proper techniques for movements such as bending and lifting. They can also be protected by avoiding activities that put excessive stress on the joints.
- Losing excess weight. Carrying extra pounds stresses the knees and other joints and can lead to early degeneration.
- Using heat, cold and water treatments. Thermotherapy, cryotherapy and hydrotherapy can often reduce joint pain. Cold packs numb the affected area, and heat relaxes the muscles and stimulates blood circulation.
- Getting enough sleep. Sleeping restores energy so pain can be better managed. It also rests joints to reduce pain and swelling.
- Relaxing. Relaxation can help reverse the effects of stress on the body, reducing pain.
Prolotherapy is a promising, regenerative treatment for those with acute or chronic joint pain. Natural substances that promote joint health, such as dextrose, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid, are injected inside a joint or into the supportive ligaments surrounding it, which stimulates the immune system and helps the body rebuild and strengthen injured or arthritic areas. The procedure is commonly used on the sacroiliac joints, low back, knees, ribs, and neck. Only a physician trained in prolotherapy can assess whether this procedure is appropriate for you. The good news: Prolotherapy has become increasingly popular among physicians, including traditional MDs, naturopaths, and doctors of osteopathy.