Joints are parts of your body where bones meet and allow them to move. Joint pain is a very common problem and has many causes. It can vary from a single joint in pain to many joints all over the body.
The main cause is arthritis but it could also be due to injury or inflammation.
Arthritis is a common condition which causes pain and inflammation in joints. It can affect people of all ages, including children.
The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common of the two types, and affects almost 9 million people in the UK.
OA is a degenerative disorder of the joints which mainly affects the knee, hip, spine and small bones of the hands. It can affect one or more than one joint. OA causes the cartilage, which is the shock-absorbing connective tissue around the joints, to break down.
Causes of OA:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues. The lining of the joints are affected and it causes painful, tender swelling and leads to joint deformity.
Pain and stiffness which is worse in the morning and after periods of inactivity
Swollen joints which are hot and tender to touch
May also cause a temperature and tiredness
Exercise - strengthening muscle around the joints improves symptoms
Healthy weight - reducing excess weight will relieve pressure on joints
Pain relief medication - paracetamol will help reduce pain but not with inflammation symptoms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics (NSAID) such as ibuprofen will reduce inflammation and relieve pain
Steroids - a corticosteroid medication, such as prednisolone, can be used to reduce pain, inflammation and suppress the immune system.
Lifestyle remedies - This can include gentle exercise to strengthen muscles around the joint
Diet – a healthy diet including oily fish and omega 3 foods.
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