Our joints are the structures in our body that connect any two parts like our elbows, hips, knees, and such. Joint inflammation is a common condition where the joints become inflamed because of an overactive immune system. This typically happens as a result of an injury, but it can also occur if chronic conditions, like severe arthritis, are present. Arthritis is a condition in which the joints are either degenerated or inflamed. It can lead to severe pain in the joints; the most common areas that arthritis attacks are the hands, feet, back, and hips. Infections or the presence of a foreign substance can lead to joint inflammation. When this is the case, your immune system will begin producing lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cells, to clean them– this is what causes the inflammation. The following are some other causes of joint inflammation…
Common Causes Of Joint Inflammation
Having joint inflammation can be difficult for those affected as it causes severe pain in the joint which can heavily impact one’s quality of life. As time passes and the condition worsens, chronic inflammation can permanently damage the joint.
Here are a few diseases and disorders than cause joint inflammation:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease meaning that your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. As this progresses, it creates severe degeneration which shows up as days with excessive pain and remission. This disorder primarily affects your hands, wrists, and knees and is separated from other arthritic conditions by seeing whether or not both sides of the body are affected.
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis happens because of the shedding or wearing away of the smooth cartilage muscle in your joints. In the past, this was considered a non-inflammatory form of arthritis, but new studies have proved differently. However, it is a milder form of joint inflammation but that does not mean that it won’t cause a considerable amount of pain.
- Gout: Gout occurs when there is a build-up of uric acid (a waste product in the joints). As these crystals build up in your joints, it can lead to intense inflammation and incredible pain that lasts for more than a week. People describe the feeling as if your foot is on fire when it is severe. If you have symptoms of gout, it is important that you seek treatment.
Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis is not the typical cause of joint inflammation, and this form of arthritis is found in people who have psoriasis or those that have a family history of it. People suffering from this condition also experience stiffness when they wake up in the morning. This occurs when the body’s immune system invades various parts of the body including your skin, hair, and joints.
Other Causes of Joint Inflammation: Bone fractures, hyperthyroidism, spondylitis, sarcoidosis, tendonitis, and even rheumatic fever can cause inflammation in the joints. Reach out to your rheumatologist to pinpoint what is causing your inflammation so that it can be treated effectively.
Effectively Treating Your Joint Inflammation
If you are unsure as to what is causing your joint inflammation, try using the RICE method– rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is done in intervals of twenty minutes and observe if there have been any improvements.
After you visit with your doctor, you will likely be prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or steroids to reduce the inflammation in your joints. In addition to these medications, you will be asked to go to physical therapy to help improve the strength of your joints and your range of motion.
Preventative care is your best option especially if you are aging or have previous injuries. You should focus on removing excessive pressure on your joint, avoid doing intense, high-pressure exercises, but routinely massage your joints.
There are many things that can cause inflammation of the joints but the majority of those concern your immune system. You should reach out to an expert for help in these cases, as it can be difficult to know what is actually causing the inflammation. Our team at Tri-State Arthritis & Rheumatology can help! Contact us to schedule your consultation.
Contact Us (859-331-3100) For More Information or to Request an Appointment
Tristate Arthritis and Rheumatology is the first and largest Rheumatology practice in the Northern Kentucky area. Founded by Dr. Arthur Kunath in 1986, our rheumatology practice now consists of six doctors who are board certified in both Internal Medicine and Rheumatology and a Physician Assistant. Patients see one doctor (except in emergencies), thereby assuring continuity of care and an individualized doctor-patient atmosphere giving the physician the ability to establish personalized and detailed relationships. Our doctors have received numerous awards, including being listed as “Top Doctors” in Cincinnati Magazine, receiving the Patient’s Choice Award, the Most Compassionate Doctor Award, and the American College of Rheumatology’s “My Doc Rocks” award.