Joint Diseases

Joint Diseases: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

The human body is composed of joints that allow movement, flexibility, and support, but at times, joints can be affected by serious disorders that limit those functions. Here is a comprehensive overview of joint diseases and what you need to know if your joints are affected.

What Are Joint Diseases?

Joint diseases, also referred to as musculoskeletal disorders, are ailments that involve the different joints of the body, such as the hips, knees, shoulders, and toes. Statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that almost 50% of adults over the age of 65 are affected by joint diseases that limit their work and regular functions.

Types Of Joint Diseases

There are many different types of joint diseases, including:

  • Osteoarthritis: This condition occurs when the cartilage found in the joints breaks down, resulting in painful inflammation and tenderness. It is the most common joint disease and can affect any joint in the body.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the joint linings. It leads to inflammation, swelling, and tenderness in the joints.
  • Gout: Gout happens when uric acid builds up in the body, feeling like sharp, burning pains in the feet, ankles, and big toe.
  • Lupus: Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that is often linked to arthritis and can cause inflammation and pain in the muscles and joints.
  • Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain in the muscles, joints, and tendons.
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome: This is an autoimmune disorder that causes dryness in the eyes, mouth, skin, and other areas, and can lead to joint pain and inflammation.

Symptoms of Joint Diseases

The symptoms of joint diseases vary, but can include:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Inflammation or swelling in affected joints
  • Tenderness in affected joints
  • Redness or warmth in affected joints
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Weakness

Causes Of Joint Diseases

Joint diseases can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Injury or trauma
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Overexertion
  • Infections
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Posture problems
  • Diseases

Treatment Of Joint Diseases

The treatment of joint diseases depends on the cause and type of joint disease. Treatments can include:

  • Physical therapy and exercise
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Pain medications
  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Heat or cold therapy

If you suspect you may have a joint disease, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor to have it properly diagnosed and receive the necessary treatments. With the right treatment, you can get back to doing the things you love without any joint pain.