A common cause of joint pain is trauma to and injury of the surrounding structures of the joint including ligaments, bursae, tendons and muscles.
Examination and imaging will help to come to a diagnosis if this is the case and next steps could be include a specialist referral or referral for physiotherapy as well as advice on pain management.
Other causes of joint pain include joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection.
Signs and symptoms of arthritis include:
- Pain and limited function of the joints
- Joint stiffness, swelling, redness and warmth
- Tenderness of the inflamed joint
There are a number of forms of arthritis and in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, this can have wider systemic symptoms including:
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Generally feeling unwell
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, but is a very a broad category and can take over a hundred different forms. Arthritic diseases usually affect the joints (knees, elbows, wrists, fingers – anywhere in the body that two bones meet). Arthritis is often a long-term condition.
It is best to get advice from a doctor on keeping your joints healthy, as gentle exercise is encouraged, but some forms of exercise can worsen joint health. It may also be helpful to use heat or cold on affected areas, but again, it is best to get this advice from a doctor, as some types of arthritis are hot, and some are cold.
Depending on the nature and duration of your joint pain, the doctor may advise a number of possible diagnostics, including physical examination, blood work, or x-ray.