Joint Pain

Joint pain can be discomfort, pain or inflammation arising from any part of a joint — including cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons or muscles. A joint is the structure in the body at which two parts of the skeleton come together. There are four major mobile joint types in the body, including:

  • Ball and Socket Joint. Ball and socket joints, such as the hip shoulder joints, allow backward, forward, sideways, and rotating movements.
  • Ellipsoidal joints. Ellipsoidal joints, such as the wrist joint, allow all types of movement except pivotal movements.
  • Hinge Joint. Hinge joints, such as in the fingers, knees, elbows, and toes, allow only bending and straightening movements.
  • Pivot joints. Pivot joints, such as the neck joints, allow limited rotating movements.

Causes and Symptoms of Joint Pain

Causes if joint pain can include:

  • Certain diseases, such as gout, bursitis, arthritis or infection.
  • Being overweight or obese, which puts extra strain on the joints.
  • Not resting properly after exercise, which can lead to an overuse joint injury.

Symptoms of joint pain can include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected are, if applicable
  • Discoloration of the skin around the injury site
  • Stiffness

Nonsurgical Versus Surgical Treatment for Joint Pain

Joint pain is rarely considered to be an emergency. There are nonsurgical ways to help protect your joints and avoid further injury if you are experiencing pain. These joint treatment are mostly behavioral in nature. They include:

  • Stay active and moving while also doing stretches and exercises to strengthen joints
  • Avoid putting excess strain on the affected joint
  • Use your stronger joints to complete activities of daily living, if possible
  • Plan ahead to avoid overusing joints
  • Use adaptive aids, such as automatic openers or cleaning supplies, to avoid unnecessary joint movement

Depending on the cause of the joint pain, medications could be helpful in managing symptoms. Over the counter anti-inflammatories can help to quell pain. In severe cases, surgery may be used to provide joint pain relief. Types of surgeries you could have include:

  • Arthroscopy, which involves having an orthopedic surgeon insert a pen-sized flexible tube inside the joint to make a few small incisions to smooth out the joint or remove cysts, damaged cartilage or bone fragments.
  • Total joint replacement, also called arthroplasty, which involves removing bad parts of the joint and replacing them with artificial joint material – using metal or plastic.
  • Joint fusion, in which the surgeon uses pins, plates, screws, or rods to join two or more bones together to make one continuous joint. Over time, the joints will fuse together.

Bone and Joint Healthcare at Adena Health System

The team of orthopedic (bone and joint) specialists at Adena Health System strives to get you the best care available with the least amount of down time. The orthopedic team at Adena follows a conservative approach to care — beginning with the least invasive treatment available -- in the hopes that more major care isn’t necessary. Need help finding a healthcare provider for your joint pain or any other health need? Search Adena Health System online or call 740-779-FIND (3463).

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