Why do the joints hurt? With such a question, a large number of patients go to the doctor or try to search for the answer on their own. Unfortunately, this ailment is not specific and can indicate a pathology with various mechanisms and causes of development.
We will try to identify the most common causes of joint pain and find out how to treat common diseases.
Before analyzing the immediate causes of pain, it is worthwhile to learn more about the symptoms of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The doctor, starting a diagnostic search, will find out exactly how the joints hurt, then the specialist will quickly find the causes of the disease.
By the nature of the sensations, pain can be:
- In pain.
Pain in the joints of the arms and legs varies in intensity. Aching and faint pain indicates chronic diseases. If the joints hurt a lot, the sensations do not allow to make movements, the process is acute.
Rhythm of pain
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 in the evening.
- Morning stiffness is not typical.
- Strongly felt after exercise.
- At rest, the pain is aching or completely absent.
- Beginning - a particular type of pain at the time of the start of the movement.
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 parts of the arms and legs for more than 30 minutes.
- The pain increases at night and early in the morning.
- With movements, the symptoms become less intense, the stiffness of the body subsides.
- In this rhythm of pain due to the stiffness and pain of the body, anti-inflammatory drugs work well.
Pain in the joints of the arms and legs, depending on the cause of development, is accompanied by some manifestations. The reason joint pain occurs can often be determined by additional symptoms:
- Limited movement of the arms or legs.
- Stiffness of the limbs.
- Swelling of the joints of the arms and legs (swelling of the elbow joint).
- Local fever and redness of the skin.
- General weakness, fever.
- Visible skin lesions in the arms, legs, torso.
- Manifestations from other organs.
Depending on the symptoms accompanying pain in the joints of the arms and legs, the doctor will determine why the disease has arisen.
Diseases of the joints
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. Pain in the joints 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 cells of the body's immune system. 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.
- Wounds and fractures. Diagnosis is not difficult due to the presence of trauma in the history.
- Damage to ligaments and intra-articular formations. The soft structures of the joints also cause joint pain when damaged.
- Rheumatic diseases. A large group of causes that cause autoimmune damage to the joints: systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatism, Bechterew's disease, Reiter's syndrome and others.
- Gout and other metabolic arthropathies. Often the 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. Antibodies from your own body affect the tissues of the joints, internal organs and skin. A frequent manifestation of the disease is dermatitis - peeling of the 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.
Diseases of the knee joints
Knee pain is one of the most frequently reported ailments by a rheumatologist. Why does the knee hurt? This element of the musculoskeletal system daily bears enormous loads of the whole body, performs a wide range of movements and has a complex structure.
The knee joint hurts with various diseases, some have already been listed above, others are specific to this joint.
"Knees hurt: how to get rid of them? " - First of all, consult a doctor. Instrumental diagnostics helps to find out why the knees hurt, but a presumptive diagnosis is made on the basis of complaints and examinations.
Pain in the knee joint most often occurs for 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 often damaged. Joints hurt badly with meniscopathy, pain occurs when you try to move. Treatment of the pathology is operative.
- Arthritis of various origins. Pain in the knee joint with arthritis is inflammatory in nature, they may be associated with an infection of the joint itself or of another organ. Knee joint pain can also occur with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
- Gout. The knee joint is not the most common localization of gouty arthritis. But this joint can still be affected by the disease. Pain in the knees is accompanied by the presence of subcutaneous tophi, an increase in the level of uric acid in the blood.
- Inflammation of the tendons - tendonitis. Knee joint pain is most often associated with soft tissue damage. When microtrauma occurs in the tendon or ligament, pain occurs in the knee and is associated with a local inflammatory reaction. Symptoms are aggravated 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 often load the joint.
- Baker's cyst and other diseases of the joint bag. The knee joint has a complex structure, its synovial membrane has inversions and pockets. Knee pain can be caused by local inflammation of the joint capsule or by the accumulation of inflammatory fluid in the popliteal space.
- Tumors. Neoplasms rarely affect the joint area. Most often, 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 particular situation, the attending physician will tell you.
Knee pain isn't always a sign of serious illness, but worrying about your health isn't superfluous.
Before prescribing treatment for joint pain, your doctor will need to make a definitive diagnosis. To do this, he will conduct 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. X-ray is performed in several projections and allows you to detect 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 smallest damage to bone tissue.
- MRI - the method perfectly visualizes all soft tissues, including ligaments and menisci, tumors, cysts and other pathological formations.
- Ultrasound of the joints: 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 a high probability. Many procedures are expensive or have contraindications, so the need for research is determined individually.
How to treat the joints? For joint pain there are numerous folk remedies, techniques and recipes. The attending physician will help you choose the right 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, drugs are often used exclusively. This is not the right approach, it is better to use complex treatment. In which, however, drugs play a fundamental role.
The most commonly used drugs:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
- Non-narcotic analgesics and opioids.
- Muscle relaxants.
As to what each specific drug helps, the attending physician should 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 which treatment to choose, the attending physician decides.
The use of various physiotherapeutic procedures complements the medical treatment.
The following techniques help with joint pain:
- Paraffin applications.
- Rodon baths.
- Mud therapy.
These and other techniques allow you to increase blood flow in 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 orthoses on the affected joint.
You cannot use the bandage for a long time, because the muscles under the orthosis design atrophy from inactivity. However, during heavy loads, the support of the immobilizing products is very useful.
Physical therapy 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, the time of exercise largely depends on the nature and severity of the disease. You need to start the exercises with breathing exercises and warming up the small muscles.
Morning exercises for 20-30 minutes a day should be supplemented with swimming, Nordic walking and other aerobic activities.
Massage procedures perfectly relieve the patient of joint pain. What is the massage method used for? Procedures increase blood circulation, relieve swelling, reduce pain. It is necessary to entrust the implementation of this procedure to a specialist and to undergo a massage after performing a series of exercises.
The key, and sometimes the only, role in the treatment of joint disease is surgery. Thus, the consequences of injuries, severe degrees of degenerative diseases, complications of joint pathology are treated.
The operation can be performed in various volumes: from plastic to prosthesis of the affected joint. The indications for surgery are determined by the patient's attending physician together with the surgeon or traumatologist.
Treatment with folk remedies
Recipes of traditional medicine are still popular in our country. It must be said that treatment with folk remedies is not a tried and tested method and is used by patients at their own risk.
For the treatment of the pathology of the musculoskeletal system, the following folk remedies are used:
- Bay leaf and cabbage tablets.
- Sunflower root decoctions.
- Gold mustache ointment.
- Application inside the egg shell.
- Packs of chopped chestnuts.
- Rye grains and other cereal structures in the form of decoctions.
- Boiled rice.
- Sodium bicarbonate.
If you decide to use one of the traditional medicine recipes, consult your doctor first.