While many of us may pay careful attention to certain aspects of our health, such as eating a healthy diet, watching our weight or integrating oral hygiene into our daily routine, we often overlook the health of our joints. However, our joints receive a fair share of abuse on a regular basis. They help to connect our bones and keep our bodies in motion so that we can enjoy a high quality of life.
As such, when one of our joints is causing pain or discomfort, our overall well being can be severely compromised. In some cases, joint pain may be the result of an accident or injury, but there are also a variety of lesser known causes.
Below are 10 causes of joint pain you may have never considered.
Within your joints are fluid-filled sacs that are known as Bursae. These sacs reduce friction by providing a cushion between your tendons, muscle tissue, and skin when you are in motion. However, someone who is suffering from Bursitis will experience discomfort or pain when moving a particular joint, given that the Bursae is inflamed. Repetitive use, poor posture, pre-existing medical conditions, and infections that can spread to the bones and joints are all risk factors for Bursitis.
Over a million Americans suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which is classified as an autoimmune disease. In patient’s with RA, the immune system begins attacking the synovia, the membranes that surround the joints, as it mistakenly believes them to be foreign invaders. This leads to stiffness and pain, as well as inflammation. RA sufferers typically experience bouts of remission, where they won’t experience any symptoms for quite some time, followed by the reemergence of joint pain and swelling.
The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is still being debated, but it’s believed that roughly 2 to 5 percent of people suffer from this condition. Its symptoms include chronic pain, fatigue, and depression. There are typically joints and specific muscle groups that are more tender, which can cause extreme pain or discomfort for the patient when touched. It’s thought that stress, illness, or injury can be a catalyst for Fybromyalgia.
Gout is often considered to be an “old fashioned” ailment. However, more than 8 million Americans suffer from this condition, and that number has been on the rise for the past 2 decades. Gout is caused by an over abundance of uric acid within the blood. When this occurs urate crystals begin to form and gather in the joints, causing pain. Gout sufferers usually experience flare-up periods, when symptoms will become more severe, which can typically last for up to 24 hours.
Tendons connect muscle to bone. Through excessive repetitive motion, injury, or disease these tendons can become inflamed, causing Tendinitis. Tendinitis may also be the result of other ailments, such as arthritis or diabetes. The condition typically causes aches and pains within the affected joint, stiffness, and swelling.
Tenosynovitis, otherwise known as Tendon Sheath Inflammation, is characterized by a dysfunction of the body’s synovium. Synovium is the protective sheath that covers our tendons and keeps them protected by producing a lubricating fluid. Tenosynovitis occurs when the synovium does not create a sufficient amount of this fluid. This can lead to stiffness, tenderness, and joint pain. Repetitive motion, injury, strain, and prolonged use of the joint are all common causes of Tenosynovitis.
There are also diseases that cause joint pain, such as the common cold and flu. While these infectious diseases may only lead to temporary joint ache or discomfort, there are other chronic conditions that may lead to long term joint dysfunction, such as Lyme Disease or Hepatitis B. This is particularly true if the condition has gone undiagnosed for quite some time or treatment is not sought early on.
This condition, which is also known as a Herniated Disk, directly impacts the health of your spine and back. The 26 bones that comprise your spinal column are separated by disks that serve as a cushion. When you carry out a motion, such as walking or sitting, these disks help to absorb the impact. A slipped disk occurs when soft inner portion of the disk protrudes from outer ring. It can cause numbness, localized pain, and even deferred pain. This is due to the fact that your spinal column supports a variety of other joints. Thus, if your spine is not in tip-top shape, chances are that you will have issues with other joints as well.
Adhesive Capsulitis, which is commonly known as Frozen Shoulder, causes shoulder joint pain. It occurs when the tissues within the joint tighten or thicken, thereby limiting range of motion. Eventually scar tissue forms, which doesn’t provide the joint with enough room to rotate effectively. Those who have compromised immune systems, hormonal imbalances, or have not been able to utilize the joint (such as patients recovering from injury) are usually at a higher risk of developing Frozen Shoulder.
One of the most surprising joint pain causes is an unbalanced diet. While lack of exercise and excessive strain can place stress upon your joints, what you eat also plays an important role in their overall health. There are actually foods that cause joint pain, particularly arthritis, such as those that are heavily processed or fried. Diets that are high in sugars, refined carbs, or dairy may also be the cause of joint pain.
If you are experiencing joint pain, regardless of the cause, you’ll want to speak with a qualified health practitioner as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that many conditions may worsen over time or be exacerbated by daily use. You and your healthcare provider should work together to get to the root of the problem and create a treatment plan that works best for your specific needs.