Living with joint pain

Joint pain is a frequently reported problem among Britons over the age of 40. Just because it’s common doesn’t mean it should be overlooked, however. Adults should not accept pain and restricted movement caused by joint inflammation, simply because they don’t feel it warrants medical attention. Instead of living a diminished life, take action. Seek professional help to manage and eliminate your symptoms before they become debilitating.

Assess your symptoms

Before you consult a doctor, perform a basic self-evaluation to assess your symptoms. Bear these things in mind:

- Take note of any sharp pains, as opposed to general discomfort.

- Are you having trouble flexing the joint? Note any stiffness and inhibited movement.

- Do you notice any redness or swelling?

- How long have you noticed the pain?

- Are you experiencing abnormal fatigue?

- Have you recently been injured or has the joint pain progressed over time?

Even if all you notice is a sporadic shooting pain in your knee or something as nondescript as achy shoulders, if the pain is causing you serious discomfort, it’s well worth getting checked out. If left untreated, sore joints can affect every aspect of your life - from the way you work to how to interact with friends and family.

See a doctor immediately

Don’t accept joint pain as a regular part of life. Safeguard your wellbeing and consult a physician, who will be able to tell you whether the pain you’re experiencing is caused by a torn tendon, arthritis, or excessive wear in the joint. Pain relief won’t come until a doctor determines the problem and assigns appropriate treatment.

Possible causes

There are a number of conditions which might be causing you pain. Some of the most commonly diagnosed joint problems are:

Rheumatoid arthritis, a condition often caused by an overactive immune system that attacks the body, particularly the joints. Without treatment, this disorder can become life-threatening.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR), another disorder caused by an overactive immune system. PMR affects large joints like the shoulders and hips. Symptoms of this condition include pain and stiffness, along with fatigue and unexplained weight loss.

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease prevalent in adults over the age of 50. This condition causes cartilage to lose its elasticity and ability to absorb shock. As a result, ligaments and tendons are stretched, which results in aching joints, soreness and inflammation.

Available treatments

Fortunately for joint pain sufferers, there are a number of treatments available to alleviate symptoms.

Hip replacement surgery may be recommended for patients with severe PMR. Knee arthroscopy surgery might be ideal for those with osteoarthritis. And for others, something as simple as joint injections could help reduce inflammation and stinging pain.

To know which treatment is appropriate, you must have a thorough discussion with a medical professional. Don’t hesitate, or write joint pain off as a basic part of every day life - it’s a serious problem that you shouldn’t have to suffer through. Don’t put it off any longer. Book an appointment with a doctor at Spire Healthcare today.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is © Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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