Joints make the connections in our bones, and they provide help and support to the movements of the body. When the joints are damaged or injured either due to a disease or an accident, it induces pain. There are various conditions that lead to pain in the joints including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, strains, bursitis, sprains, and injuries.
Joint And Muscle Pain in the Body
Today, joint pain is quite common and according to a national survey, in a span of one month, there were around one-third reports of adults with joint pain. Among these, knee pain was the most common complaint followed by pain in the shoulders and hips. Joint pain is not limited to specific areas. In fact, it can affect any part of the body, including ankles, hands, shoulders, and feet.
Age is also a factor in the increase in joint pain. At an older age, the incidence of joint pain increases.
Joint pain can be mildly irritating to severely painful. It can range from being mild, which lasts for a few days or weeks (acute pain), to several numbers of weeks or even months (chronic pain). The quality of life and daily routine is affected by the short-term pain and swelling of joints, which leads to pain. There are various remedies, medications, and physical therapies that can assist in diminishing the pain.
On the other hand, there is muscle pain. The symptoms of muscle pain are tenderness of muscles, swelling, fever, and redness. Joint and muscle pain is one of the most reported concerns in adults.
Causes of Joint Pain
There are various causes of joint pain, ranging from different medical causes to daily behavior. Most of these causes have been detailed below.
- A broken bone in the arm, wrist, ankle, leg, or hip
- Infections which affect younger adults and are referred to as reactive arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis, which is the type of arthritis which affects people with psoriasis
- Rheumatoid arthritis may start in one joint and move and spread to other body parts
- The swelling or tenderness in the body which is just below the kneecap and is referred to as Osgood-Schlatter disease
- Tropical infections
- Avascular necrosis, which is the crumbling of bone due to an inadequate supply of blood
- Dislocation of the joints
- The serious condition of pain when the joint swells and is hot and one feels difficulty in movement is known as septic arthritis
- The inflammation in the blood vessels, which is known as Behcet’s syndrome
Daily Activities and Behaviors
The pain in the joints can be caused by the choices we make in our daily life.
- We prefer wearing foam-soled sandals or flip flops, which are one of the main causes of joint pain because they lead to pain in the ankles, feet, and knees.
- The use of smartphones has increased, and we spent most of our day using them. This takes a lot of effort from our thumbs. Researchers and medical practitioners believe that it is one of the leading causes of arthritis and, consequently, joint pain.
- Men mostly place their wallets in their back pockets which induces pain in the buttocks and back. In extreme cases, it can even be the cause of shooting pain in the leg. The pain occurs because placing the wallet in the back pocket leads to irritation and compression of the sciatic nerve each day. This condition can even lead to issues with the alignment of the spine, which leads to muscle tension.
- When people sit on the car seat in an inappropriate posture or wrong angle while driving, one may be slouched toward the steering wheel when the seat is reclined and incur joint pain.
- Sleeping positions can also be a reason for pain. Waking up sore in the morning is an indication of improper posture. Stomach sleepers often twist their necks, which leads to hypertension. On the other hand, the people who sleep on their sides with an arm below their head can incur a strain on the shoulder.
Causes of Muscle Pain
Just like joint pain, there are various causes of muscle pain which lead to pain in the muscles over the entire body. The causes are highlighted below:
- Strains and sprains which are due to trauma or injury lead to joint and muscle pain.
- The overuse of muscles when they are warmed up more than their capacity can lead to muscle pain.
- Stress and tension lead to muscle pain in the body.
- Drugs like ACE inhibitors (which are used for lowering blood pressure) statins, cocaine, and those which are used for lowering the levels of cholesterol can lead to muscle pain.
- Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease which leads to skin rashes, redness, and weakness of muscles.
- Imbalance in the electrolytes like calcium or potassium can lead to joint and muscle pain.
- Fibromyalgia, which is basically chronic pain in the muscles, induces pain in the joints and muscles.
- There are various infections like Lyme disease, the flu, muscle abscess, malaria, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and polio which are causes of pain in the muscles and joints.
- There are times when the immune system of the body attacks its own muscles and due to this, lupus is caused which leads to severe muscle pain.
- Stiffness and inflammation of the muscles are another cause of joint and muscle pain, which is also known as polymyalgia rheumatic.
- Inflammation of the muscles and tissues near the affected muscles when the cells are damaged is referred to as polymyositis and causes muscle pain.
- Rhabdomyolysis is the condition when the skeleton muscles are damaged, and this is due to the death of muscle fibers. It leads to vomiting, weakness, and pain in the muscles.
- Muscle and joint pain can also be caused due to muscle tension in one or more areas of the body.
- The overuse of muscles while exercising and during physical activity leads to pain in muscles all over the body.
- When the muscles are engaged in a physically demanding situation while exercising or working, it can cause muscle and joint pain.
- Injury due to lifting heavy objects leads to severe pain in the muscles and joints.
- Bacterial infections can cause muscle and joint pain.
- Autoimmune diseases can lead to inflammation in the muscles which makes the muscles and joints experience severe pain.
- When people adopt improper postures and exert more effort than the stamina of their body muscles, it becomes one of the main causes of joint and muscle pain all over the body.
Muscle and Joint Pain Treatment
Performing stressful activities on a regular basis like running, weightlifting, and working out which is more than the normal range of body movements results in soreness and inflammation in the muscles and joints. The soreness of the muscle and joints can be relieved by taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
The acronym of RICE can be implemented which refers to Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. One should take appropriate rest, but this does not mean that one needs to be in bed for the entire day. You just need to stretch and avoid strenuous activities, which can help treat pain in muscles and joints. When you stretch after exercising, the muscles and joints are relaxed and relieved. Thus, the risk of joint and muscle pain is reduced.
It is also suggested that during workouts, one should increase the level of difficulty in small progressions which helps the body adjust to the higher levels.
The muscles and joints can be strengthened by working with a physical therapist. The joints are stabilized, and the range of movement of the body is improved. There are various techniques like cold and heat therapy, ultrasound, manipulation, and electric nerve stimulation, which are used by a therapist to decrease muscle and joint pain.
People who have a heavyweight often have painful joints, and losing the extra fats can help them reduce the pressure on the joints. Doing this can also help diminish pain, and one feels relieved.
Behavioral and Home Treatment
There are a few techniques that can be adopted at home which will help reduce the joint and muscle pain. One of these methods is PRICE, which is the acronym for:
- Protect: You should protect your muscles and joints with the help of a wrap or brace.
- Rest: The part which is likely to be affected by exercise is to be rested to avoid pain.
- Ice: The specific area of joint pain is iced for around 15 minutes twice or thrice a day.
- Compression: An elastic wrap can be used to compress the joint to prevent pain in the joints and muscles.
- Elevation: The joints are elevated above the level of the heart, which helps the flow of blood throughout the body.
Progressive muscle relaxation, self-hypnosis, meditation, low-impact yoga, focused breathing, and guided imagery are various behavioral techniques that can also be used to reduce joint and muscle pain.