Severe Joint Pain Among Adults With Arthritis
Arthritis-related severe joint pain affects adults of all ages, both sexes, and all races and ethnicities. Most of what we know about severe joint pain is for adults. The age-standardized prevalence of severe joint pain among adults with arthritis varies by state, ranging from 20% in Utah to 46% in Mississippi.1
From 2002 to 2014 in the United States, severe joint pain prevalence among adults with arthritis was:
- Higher among women than men .
- Highest among adults aged 45 to 64 years . Prevalence was the same for adults aged 18 to 44 years and adults aged 65 years or older .
- Highest among non-Hispanic Blacks , followed by Hispanics , and non-Hispanic whites .
- Severe joint pain is more common among adults with arthritis who also have other chronic conditions including diabetes , heart disease , and obesity , and among adults with a disability .
- More than half of adults with arthritis and serious psychological distress reported having severe joint pain.
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Acute Joint Pain Vs Arthritis
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments among American adults. Over 20% suffer from some form of arthritis in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Arthritis can cause debilitating joint pain and is the leading cause of workplace disability according to the CDC, and accounts for over $100 billion in medical costs every year.
While osteoarthritis is a common cause of joint pain, its not the only one. There are other factors that can cause short term joint pain that usually clears up without causing lasting damage to the joint.
At Healthy Life Family Medicine, our primary care physician Dr. John Monroe and our team of family medicine specialists offer joint pain and arthritis treatment at our office in Goodyear, Arizona.
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When To Call Your Doctor
No matter what treatment youâre following, get medical help right away if the pain gets intense, your joint suddenly becomes inflamed or deformed, or you can no longer use the joint at all.
CDC: QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Reporting Joint Pain or Stiffness National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2006, âGout.â
Collyott, C.L. Orthopaedic Nursing, 2008.
Palmer T. The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 2004.
Vangsness, C.T. Jr. Arthroscopy, 2009.
Is There A Difference Between Joint Pain And Arthritis
Joint pain in the form of arthritis affects more than 92 million adults in the United States, with symptoms that range from mild to those that pose serious limitations. While arthritis is, far and away, the leading cause of joint pain, it isnt the only cause.
Our team of musculoskeletal experts here at Summit Pain Alliance understands the extensive impact that joint pain has on our patients, and were here to help. Whether your joint pain stems from arthritis or another issue, we have the tools and services you need to regain pain-free movement.
Heres a look at the difference between arthritis and joint pain to help you better understand the problem.
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What Types Of Joint Disorders Happen From Overuse
Overuse injuries usually damage the soft tissues of the joint. They can happen when you work a joint too hard by doing the same movements over and over. For example, you could get an overuse injury from playing a musical instrument, playing sports, or doing certain jobs, such as carpentry or painting.
Joint overuse injuries include:
- Bursitis. The bursa is a small fluid-filled sac. It works as a pad between the bones of a joint and the moving parts around it, such as muscles, tendons and skin. With bursitis, the bursa becomes irritated and swollen with extra fluid. Overuse is the most common cause, but injuries, infections and other conditions, such as arthritis, can cause bursitis.
- Tendinitis. This condition happens when you overuse a tendon. It swells and makes the joint painful to move.
- Chronic strain. A strain becomes chronic when your muscles or tendons stretch or tear slowly over time from repeating the same movements.
The treatments for bursitis, tendinitis, and chronic strain are often the same. They usually include rest, keeping the injured joint higher than your heart, and taking medicine to reduce swelling. Your provider may recommend gentle exercise and other treatment. In some cases, your provider may suggest an injection of medicine into the joint. If these do not help, you may need surgery.
The Causes Of Joint Pain Are Several And Arthritis Is Just One Of Them
Written by Dr Anitha Anchan | Updated : May 27, 2016 10:02 AM IST
A joint is a site at which bones connect. The connection between bones provides support and movement to the body. A joint comprises of bones separated by the cushioning cartilage. Ligaments, the fibrous tissue in and around the joint, connect the bones. Tendons attach muscles to bones. A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac which acts as lubricated cushion between a bone and its surrounding soft tissues at the joints. It helps reduce friction. Joint pain or arthralgia can affect you at any age but become increasingly more common as you age. It can affect one or more joints from your head to toe. It can be mild to severe and may last for few days to few weeks to several months. The causes of pain in the joints are several and arthritis i.e. inflammation of joint is just one of them. An injury or disease of the joint or its adjacent tissues can cause joint pain. Here is a list of some of the causes:
1. Sprains and strains A sprain is an injury to the ligaments and a strain refers to muscle injury. Your ankle joints are most commonly prone to sprain whereas the hamstring muscle is most commonly strained. Sprains and strains can be very painful and are the most common causes of pain in a single joint.
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What Causes Joint Pain
One of the most common causes of joint pain is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage between bones wears away. Osteoarthritis can set in around middle age and slowly develop over time.
Psoriatic Arthritis is another cause of joint pain that affects middle-aged individuals where the bodys immune system attacks healthy joint tissue. While these and other forms of arthritis may be the cause of joint pain for some, older individuals, in particular, its not the case for everyone.
Here a few other causes of joint pain.
Arthritis With Involvement Of The Soft Tissues
It can happen that the inflammatory process present in the joints of the leg extends to the soft tissues, aggravating the present symptomatology .
When this happens, the whole dynamics of the leg is affected and the patient is prevented from engaging in daily living activities.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
This type of arthritis is common in those who have overused their joints for example, professional athletes, runners, joggers. Physical injuries can trigger the appearance of this form of arthritis as well.
The inflammatory process can stem from the soft tissues as well, affecting the joints as consequence. In making the diagnosis of arthritis, it is important to diagnose the root of the problem and treat it accordingly.
If the leg pain is severe, involving a large surface and being resistant to medication, the condition one is suffering from might be fibromyalgia.
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Polymyalgia Rheumatica Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
This autoimmune disease is challenging to diagnose for two reasons. First, its symptoms overlap with many other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Second, it can cause a variety of symptoms, and an individual may experience just a few symptoms that are not considered typical to the disease.
How is it similar to RA? Polymyalgia rheumatica joint pain is often symmetrical 1 and most noticeable after getting out of bed in the morning. In one study, researchers found inflammation of joints lininga condition called synovitis, a classic sign of RAin 23% of polymyalgia rheumatica cases.2
People with polymyalgia rheumatica also may feel like they have the flu, have a fever, feel weak, or experience weight loss.
See Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
How is it different? Polymyalgia rheumatica usually affects the shoulders, neck, or hips first, whereas RA usually affects hands, feet, or knees first. People with polymyalgia rheumatica typically also experience muscle pain: myalgia means muscle pain, and polymyalgia means muscle pain in multiple locations.
Polymyalgia rheumatica is rarely diagnosed in people under age 50 and it is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages 70 and 80. 1,4 RA is more commonly diagnosed in people ages 30 to 60.
Inflammation Of The Joints
Generally, inflammation of a joint is accompanied by an injury, disease, or infection. When a joint is inflamed, the synovium tends to get thicker and the the actual fluid production increases. Together, that causes the region of the joint to swell. The immune cells that create inflammation then move into the joint tissue. This whole process is referred to as active synovitis. Inflammation of the joint is also associated with the appearance of redness, a feeling of warmth or pain, and joint stiffness.
Non-arthritic conditions that can lead to inflammation of joints include:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
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Brief Anatomy Of The Knee
The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.
The knee is formed by the following parts:
Tibia. This is the shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
Femur. This is the thighbone or upper leg bone.
Patella. This is the kneecap.
Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is 2 long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles , which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles , which bend the leg at the knee.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia .
When Should I See My Doctor
Joints get sore and swollen for many reasons. It could be due to an injury, overuse, or doing a new type of physical activity.
See your doctor if you have pain and stiffness that starts with no clear reason, lasts for more than a few days, and also causes swelling, redness and warmth. It is important to start treatment as soon as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse and causing long-term damage.
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Evidence Of Central Pain Processing From Neuroimaging Studies
Schematic diagram of central pain-processing pathways implicated in OA pain processing.
Recent work by Baliki et al. has reported that painful mechanical knee stimulation in OA was associated with bilateral activity in the thalamus, secondary somatosensory, insular and cingulate cortices, with unilateral activity in the putamen and amygdala. These data suggest that painful stimulation in subjects with OA of the knee engages with many brain regions commonly observed in acute pain. Local treatment of the knee with lignocaine resulted in reduction of brain activity detected on fMRI in the regions described previously, suggesting that central activation of the brain mediates pain during OA. Such results also help to disentangle pain responses from anxiety or other emotional, non-painful responses. In the same study, patients who had spontaneous back pain in a cohort of patients with low back pain showed activity by fMRI in the medial prefrontal cortex, with reduced brain activation after treatment with lignocaine . The regions activated in these studies of OA subjects show patterns in brain regions similar to those in touch-evoked pain and acute pain .
Joint Pain: 10 Common Causes Other Than Arthritis
We have joints all over our bodies, where bone and bone plus bone and muscle connect. So its not surprising that, at some point in your lifetime, you will experience joint pain in one area or another.
However, joint pain has a variety of causes, some of which come with age or overuse, and others that are a side effect of other health problems like obesity, anxiety, or Lyme disease.
If youre suffering from joint pain and not sure why, one of these causes might be the source of your pain. And the sooner you pinpoint the cause, the sooner you can experience joint pain relief.
Lets dive in.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Arthritis
Chronic joint pain may be a sign of arthritis and joint damage. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis, which results from wear and tear on the joints over time.
Rheumatoid arthritis, another common form of arthritis, also causes joint damage and deterioration over time, but results from an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints.
Some of the signs and symptoms of arthritis-related joint pain include:
- Limited or decreased range of motion
It can be difficult to tell whether your joint pain is the result of temporary inflammation or arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that you keep track of your symptoms and if the pain and stiffness feels worse at a certain time of day, after physical activity or rest, and the duration of your symptoms.
If your symptoms last more than a few weeks, get progressively worse, or you develop other symptoms like a fever or a rash, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Tumors Around The Joint
In very rare cases, tumors can develop that involve the joints. However, in most cases, joints are affected by tumors because there is a tumor that is located near the joint . There are two different types of tumors that can develop in lining of the joints known as synovial chondromatosis and villonodular synovitis. Fortunately, in most cases, these tumors are benign and will not spread. However, they can also be aggressive. Usually, only one joint is affected and painful. The pain is usually resolved when the tumor is resected using a surgery known as a synovectomy .
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How Is Ra Diagnosed
RA is diagnosed by reviewing symptoms, conducting a physical examination, and doing X-rays and lab tests. Its best to diagnose RA earlywithin 6 months of the onset of symptomsso that people with the disease can begin treatment to slow or stop disease progression . Diagnosis and effective treatments, particularly treatment to suppress or control inflammation, can help reduce the damaging effects of RA.
What Could Be Causing My Joint Pain If Its Not Arthritis
Plenty of things, unfortunately, but to understand joint pain, we should first look at what joints are:
- Cartilage, connective tissue that cushions and protects your joints
- Tendons, strong, rope-like tissue that connects your muscles to your bones
- Ligaments, sturdy tissue that connects bone to bone
- Bones, living tissue that makes up your skeleton
Some of the hardest working joints in your body are your knees, hips, ankles, shoulders, and spine.
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Sudden Onset Joint Pain
Sudden multiple joint pain is most often just a flare up of a pre-existing issue like Lupus, RA, or even osteoarthritis.
Even severe joint pain all over can just be a bad flare up of a pre-existing issue.
In that case, you probably dont need to worry about the sudden part. But you should absolutely worry about fixing the problem and getting your body working correctly again, even if your doctor has told you that there is no cure, no hope of getting better.An effective rheumatoid arthritis treatment can get rid of RA. Unfortunately, your doctor believes RA to be incurable.
If you have pre-existing issue, then youre probably familiar with flare ups. Maybe they show up quickly, maybe theyre even severe, but theyre definitely not new theyre not sudden joint pain. Its just more of the same, its not new pain.
Remember, there is no such thing as sudden onset arthritis symptoms.because arthritis is neither sudden nor new. Arthritis is chronic and has slowly been getting worse over time.
Infection thoughinfection is a dangerous and life threatening cause of sudden onset joint pain.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis
Many people confuse rheumatoid arthritis with osteoarthritis due to their similar symptoms, but the two diseases are caused by different factors.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Whereas rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes joint malfunction due to inflammation, osteoarthritis is a mechanical disease brought on by the destruction of joints through wear and tear.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, with approximately 27 million Americans over the age of 25 having been diagnosed with it. Osteoarthritis is also most commonly seen in people middle-aged to elderly and is the top cause of disability in those age groups, though it can also appear in younger people who have sustained joint injuries.
With osteoarthritis, the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone are all affected by deterioration and inflammation. When the cartilage begins to break down due to stress or changes in the body, the surrounding bones slowly get bigger and begin to fail.
Osteoarthritis is a slowly progressing disease and occurs in the joints of the hand, spine, hips, knees, and toes. Furthermore, risk factors of this disease most often stem from lifestyle or biological causes, such as:
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