Joints are present throughout the body as a means of connection between bones. They connect bones and allow the body skeleton to move around with flexibility. Joints are mainly present in the shoulders, hips, knees, and elbows.
Joint pains can be characterized as soreness, inflammation and any kind of discomfort. Joint dysfunction and pains are fairly common, and in most cases, they do not cause any alarming concern. Joint pains can be caused by an injury or as a symptom of another illness.
Causes of Joint Dysfunction & Pain
The following are some of the reasons behind joint dysfunction and pain.
Arthritis is one of the major culprits behind aching joints and severe joint dysfunction. There are two major types of arthritis: Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis typically manifests itself in elderly adults, typically over the age of 40. It is a slowly progressing disease that usually attacks joints of the hands, wrists, hips or knees.
Rheumatoid arthritis is more common amongst women than men, and it causes the joints to slowly deteriorate and get deformed. It leads to immense joint pains, inflammation and causes a buildup of fluids within the body. Basically, these symptoms emerge as the immune system begins attacking the membrane-lining of the joints.
There are many other ailments that lead to joint pain or dysfunction. These include gout, lupus, chondromalacia, bursitis, injuries, tendinitis, overusing or exhaustion, certain types of cancers, and osteoporosis, amongst others.
Sacroiliitis is a form of inflammation that attacks the sacroiliac joint. These are two joints located in the lower back, and they reside on each side of the spine. They are responsible for lifting the upper body weight every time you stand, walk or carry your weight on your legs.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can manifest itself as a sharp and prolonged pain that beings in one or both of the sacroiliac joints. It can also travel towards your thighs, buttocks, the upper back or even the groin region. For certain patients, the pain is triggered by the simple act of standing up. Patients often complain of feeling a dull pain on one side of their spine. Many patients also complain of experiencing greater pain during the morning, and alleviation later in the day.
Sacroiliac joint pain is extremely prevalent, caused by an inflammation of the sacroiliac joint. There are multiple reasons which cause this pain. For instance, a sports injury or a terrible accident that involved falling. It can also be caused by regular activity, such as jogging or even weight lifting. If you find yourself taking irregular steps because one of your legs seems longer than the other. It could be happening because of a sacroiliac joint problem.
An injury involving any damage to the ligaments that protect the sacroiliac joint can also cause dysfunction. With age, the cartilage protecting our sacroiliac joints also starts to wither away, allowing inflammation to set in. Pregnancy can also trigger sacroiliac joint aches.
Treating Joint Dysfunctions & Pains
Here are some treatments for joint dysfunction:
Physical therapy and routine exercise aid in enhancing flexibility and recuperating bodily strength. This form of therapy is focused on correcting habits and postures to prevent pain. Movements, like leaning and walking, are reinstated to avoid aches. Therapists generally recommend stretching, yoga, massages, cold treatments, and ultrasounds. If you face any difficulty doing it by yourself, you can also visit massage therapists, as they can help you with stretching and massaging.
Cortisone & other Injections
Certain patients are administered cortisone injections to reduce the inflammation in joints. If that proves ineffective, doctors alleviate the pain by numbing the nerves surrounding the joints. Doctors also inject patients with saline and natural solutions, alongside numbing solutions to alleviate pain. These treatments are termed prolotherapy, and they prove effective at tightening up the ligaments.
A chiropractor can make certain adjustments to alleviate pain and allow movement in muscles and joints.
This treatment involves the use of a needle to permanently damage the nerves responsible for the sensations of pain. The nerve sends signals of pain from the joints to the brain. Freezing this nerve with an injection or damaging it with a needle can eliminate the pain.
The majority of these treatments are focused on eliminating or reducing inflammation and pain and allowing flexible movements. However, in certain cases, patients fail to experience relief of pain alleviation. Then, doctors are likely to advise surgery. In the case of the sacroiliac joint pain, the surgery is known as SI joint fusion. This involves the use of pins and implants to fuse the bones surrounding the joint.
Regular checkups and a strong preventive care regime can help avoid joint pains and dysfunctions. It is important to listen to the needs of your body and avoid activities that overuse or exhaust the joints. All symptoms, no matter how insignificant they may seem, must be investigated to understand the causes and remedies. Remember, prevention is always better than a cure.