Joint pains are a regular occurrence and will either be experienced acutely or chronically. The acute variants of joint pain will usually be the result of some kind of traumatic event such as a sports injury, strain, or sprain while performing regular tasks around the household or at office. Because of the fact that the joints play a huge role for our bodies to perform certain tasks, joint pain can easily affect your lifestyle significantly.
Stiffness in the joints is usually associated with arthritis. Arthritis is essentially a degenerative condition that progresses with age as muscle composition, bone structure, and ligaments all lose their density as well as elasticity to be able to perform the tasks that they are used to doing.
Joint swelling is one of the most common symptoms of joint pain. The amount of swelling as well as the rate at which the swelling occurs will provide important clues about the exact condition affecting the joint. Traumatic events are likely to cause swelling to appear rather quickly, while joint pains and conditions that swell up over a long period of time are more likely to be associated with internal underlying conditions that cause joint swelling.
Joint swelling after traumatic injuries should be treated as soon as possible with the help of an ice pack. The affected joint should also be raised to a level higher than that of the heart when lying down or resting. For swelling that hasn’t reduced even after a few days of rest, it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor for a medical diagnosis to identify if there is some other underlying condition responsible for the problem.
Joint warmth is another common symptom of a number of conditions affecting the joint and its ability to perform. If you place your hand over the affected area you will notice an increased temperature over the region. Some of the conditions that list joint warmth as their most common symptoms include:
- Skin infections
In order to properly diagnose the condition, the doctor may require a number of tests to be carried out such as x-rays, blood tests, uric acid tests, Lyme disease tests and, in more serious cases, MRI scans. The treatment for joint warmth will depend largely on the condition that has been diagnosed. If the warmth is accompanied by swelling and is the result of trauma such as a sports injury or regular home injury such as a sprain or strain, all that is usually required is adequate rest and a cold compress on the area every now and again.
Joint deformity is something that can have a significant effect on your ability to control your body’s movements. Rheumatoid arthritis is known to be one of the most common causes of this problem and is known to lead to the developments of deformities such as:
- Hitchhikers thumb
- Clawed or curly toe deformity
- Swan neck deformities
Earlier, there was nothing that could be done to combat rheumatoid arthritis, but the advancement of science over the years has led to a number of working treatment options to help individuals with the problem to live a normal life. Rheumatoid Arthritis, in its more serious forms, will also cause ‘Pannus’, which is the abnormality in the growth of cells, which then release enzymes that eat into cartilage and bone – causing deformities in the structure of the body as well.
Skin Redness Overlying The Joint
Skin redness overlying the joint is a symptom that develops in a number of joint-affecting conditions. Some of the more common conditions include the following:
- Ankle bursitis
- Poly arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Arthritis, in its many forms, is widely considered to be one of the most common causes of skin redness over a joint in addition to the amount of discomfort and pain that an individual experiences. The condition is known to be a degenerative one because of the fact that it generally develops with age and causes the bones, muscles, and ligaments to lose a lot of their vigor, density, and elasticity.
Joint redness as a result of common injuries will usually dissipate in a matter of days after enough rest has been given to the joint. If the condition does not abate after a few days of rest, make it a point to see the doctor as soon as possible because early diagnosis can go a long way into ensuring that any underlying conditions do not develop any further.
- Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
- Arend WP, Lawry GV. Approach to the patient with rheumatic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine . 24th ed. Philadelphia,PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 264.
- CDC: “QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Reporting Joint Pain or Stiffness – National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2006.”