Why do joints hurt? With this question, a large number of patients go to the doctor or try to look for the answer on their own. Unfortunately, this complaint is not specific and may indicate a pathology with various mechanisms and causes of development.
Let's try to identify the most common causes of joint pain and find out how to treat common ailments.
Before looking at the immediate causes of pain, it is worth learning more specifically about the symptoms of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The doctor, starting diagnostic research, will find out exactly how the joints hurt - so the specialist will quickly find the causes of the disease.
By the nature of the sensations, pain can be:
Pain in the joints of the arms and legs varies in intensity. Painful, weak pain indicates chronic diseases. If the joints hurt a lot, the sensations do not allow movement, then the process is acute.
rhythm of pain
The symptoms of all diseases of the joints of the hands and feet can be divided according to the rhythm of pain: mechanical or inflammatory. Mechanical pain has the following characteristics:
- It grows at night.
- Morning stiffness is not typical.
- Strongly felt after exercise.
- At rest, the pain is painful or completely absent.
- Start - a specific type of pain at the time of movement initiation.
The inflammatory rhythm is characteristic of synovitis of the joints of the arms and legs of various origins. The symptoms are as follows:
- Morning stiffness of the body or certain parts of the arms and legs for more than 30 minutes.
- The pain increases at night and early in the morning.
- With the movements, the symptoms become less intense, the rigidity of the body decreases.
- In this rhythm of pain from stiffness and pain in the body, anti-inflammatories work well.
Pain in the joints of the arms and legs, depending on the cause of development, is accompanied by certain manifestations. Why joint pain often occurs can be determined by additional symptoms:
- Restricted movement of arms or legs.
- Member stiffness.
- Swelling in the joints of the arms and legs (swelling in the elbow joint).
- Local fever and redness of the skin.
- General weakness, fever.
- Visible skin lesions on arms, legs, trunk.
- Manifestations from other bodies.
Depending on which symptoms accompany the pain in the joints of the arms and legs, the doctor will determine why the condition arose.
Pain in the joints of the arms and legs can be caused by diseases that are completely different in origin and mechanism of development. However, the most common causes of such symptoms can be identified:
- Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of cartilage and bone tissue. Joint pain is mechanical in nature, during the period of exacerbation, an inflammatory component joins.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease associated with the attack of the joint by the body's own immune system cells. Joint pain has a clearly inflammatory rhythm.
- Reactive arthritis is inflammation caused by an infection in another organ. It often occurs with hepatitis and urinary tract infections.
- Infectious arthritis - associated with the entry of microbes into the joint.
- Injuries and fractures. Diagnosis is not difficult due to the presence of trauma in the history.
- Damage to ligaments and intra-articular formations. Soft joint structures also cause joint pain when damaged.
- Rheumatic diseases. A large group of causes that cause autoimmune joint damage: systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatism, Bechterew's disease, Reiter's syndrome, and others.
- Gout and other metabolic arthropathies. Often, symptoms of damage to the musculoskeletal system are associated with the deposition of various pathological substances in the joints. In gout, they are salts of uric acid.
- Psoriatic arthritis - the cause of this disease is unknown. The body's own antibodies affect joint tissues, internal organs, and skin. A frequent manifestation of the disease is dermatitis - peeling skin on the extensor surfaces of the limbs.
This list represents the most common causes of diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
Joint pain can also be caused by vascular disorders and neurological diseases. The attending physician must determine the final cause.
Knee joint diseases
Knee pain is one of the most frequently reported complaints to the rheumatologist. Why does the knee hurt? This element of the musculoskeletal system daily supports enormous loads of the entire body, performs a wide variety of movements and has a complex structure.
Knee joint hurts with various diseases, some of them have already been listed above, others are specific to this joint.
"Sore knees: how to get rid of it? "- First of all, consult a doctor. Instrumental diagnosis helps to find out why the knees hurt, but a presumptive diagnosis is made on the basis of complaints and examination.
Knee joint pain most often occurs due to the following reasons:
- Gonarthrosis - osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This cause is the most common mechanism for knee pain. The joint is subjected to daily loads, which are the main risk factor for osteoarthritis.
- meniscopathy. Menisci are layers of cartilage within a joint. When a knee injury occurs, it is these structures that are usually damaged. Joints hurt severely with meniscus disease, pain occurs when you try to move. The treatment of the pathology is operative.
- Arthritis of various origins. Pain in the arthritic knee joint is inflammatory in nature, it may be associated with an infection of the joint itself or another organ. Knee joint pain can also occur with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
- Drop. The knee joint is not the most common location for gouty arthritis. But this joint can still be affected by the disease. Knee pain is accompanied by the presence of subcutaneous tophi, an increase in the level of uric acid in the blood.
- Inflammation of the tendons - tendinitis. Knee joint pain is often associated with soft tissue damage. When microtrauma occurs in the tendon or ligament, the pain occurs in the knee, it is associated with a local inflammatory reaction. Symptoms are made worse by exercise.
- Circulatory disorders. Vascular thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, varicose veins can cause knee pain. These problems often occur in postmenopausal women, as well as in people who tend to strain the joint.
- Baker's cyst and other diseases of the joint pouch. The knee joint has a complex structure, its synovial membrane has inversions and pouches. Knee pain can be caused by local inflammation of the joint capsule or by accumulation of inflammatory fluid in the popliteal space.
- tumors. Neoplasms rarely affect the joint area. Most of the time, knee pain associated with tumor growth occurs when metastases from another organ are present in the joint. In this case, the diagnosis is known and treatment is already underway for oncology.
With these and other diseases, a person's knees hurt, what to do in a specific situation, the attending doctor will tell you.
Knee pain is not always a sign of a serious pathology, but worrying about your health is not superfluous.
Before prescribing treatment for joint pain, the doctor will need to make a definitive diagnosis. To do this, he will perform several mandatory diagnostic procedures. The exam standard includes:
- General blood and urine analysis - will indicate the presence or absence of an inflammatory reaction.
- Biochemical blood test - evaluates the function of the liver and kidneys, the state of metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
- X-ray of the affected joints. Radiography is performed in several projections and allows the detection of bone pathology.
Unfortunately, in most cases, these research methods are not enough to make a diagnosis. In this case, additional methods are applied:
- Computed tomography - allows you to detect even the slightest damage to bone tissue.
- MRI - the method perfectly visualizes all soft tissues, including ligaments and menisci, tumors, cysts and other pathological formations.
- Joint ultrasound - detects abdominal and solid pathological formations, can measure the speed of blood flow in the vessels.
- Arthroscopy is the introduction of a camera into the joint cavity. One of the most accurate research methods.
- Diagnostic puncture - a liquid is drawn from the joint cavity into the syringe, which is subjected to examination.
These diagnostic tools allow you to make the correct diagnosis with high probability. Many procedures are expensive or have contraindications, so the need for research is determined on an individual basis.
How to treat joints? For joint pain, there are a huge number of folk remedies, techniques and recipes. The attending physician will help you choose the correct methods of therapy.
All means and methods of therapeutic effects can be divided into several groups, each of which will be discussed below.
For joint pain, medications are often used exclusively. This is not the correct approach, it is better to use a complex treatment. In which, however, drugs play a key role.
The most used drugs:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Non-narcotic analgesics and opioids.
- Muscle relaxants.
From what each specific drug helps, the attending physician must explain to the patient.
In vascular diseases, other drugs are prescribed. If you have diseases of the vessels of the lower extremities and at the same time the joints of the legs hurt, what to do and what treatment to choose, the attending doctor decides.
The use of several physiotherapeutic procedures complements the medical treatment.
The following techniques help with joint pain:
- Paraffin applications.
- Baths of Rhodon.
- Mud therapy.
These and other techniques allow you to increase blood flow to the affected joint, relieve swelling and increase the intensity of metabolic processes.
For joint pain in the acute period, therapeutic immobilization is often prescribed. This method involves the use of bandages, corsets and orthotics on the affected joint.
You cannot wear the bandage for a long time, because the muscles under the orthopedic design atrophy from inactivity. However, during heavy loads, the support of immobilizing products is very useful.
Physiotherapy plays a key role in the treatment of any pathological process in the musculoskeletal system. Gymnastics allows you to adapt the joint to the load, restore muscle strength, improve blood circulation and relieve swelling.
The intensity and duration of exercise largely depends on the nature and severity of the disease. You need to start the exercises with breathing exercises and warming up small muscles.
Morning exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a day should be supplemented with swimming, Nordic walking, and other aerobic activities.
Massage procedures perfectly relieve the patient from joint pain. What is the massage method for? The procedures increase blood circulation, relieve swelling, reduce pain. You need to entrust the implementation of this procedure to a specialist and undergo a massage after performing a set of exercises.
The key, and sometimes the only, role in treating joint pathology is surgical intervention. Thus, the consequences of injuries, severe degrees of degenerative diseases, complications of joint pathology are treated.
The operation can be performed in several volumes: from plasty to prosthesis of the affected joint. Indications for intervention are determined by the patient's physician in conjunction with the surgeon or traumatologist.
Treatment with folk remedies
Traditional medicine recipes are still popular in our country. It must be said that treatment with folk remedies is not a proven and proven method, and is used by patients at their own risk.
For the treatment of pathology of the musculoskeletal system, the following folk remedies are used:
- Bay leaf and cabbage compresses.
- Sunflower root decoctions.
- Ointment from a golden mustache.
- Application inside the eggshell.
- Crushed chestnut compresses.
- Rye grains and other cereal structures in the form of decoctions.
- Cooked rice.
- Sodium bicarbonate.
If you decide to use one of the traditional medicine recipes, consult your doctor first.