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The Common Causes of Joint Pain

by Danny white

Any person, young, old, athletic, or physically active, can get joint pain. However, the reasons differ, which is why Princeton Sports And Family Medicine in Lawrenceville dedicate their services to providing patients with a comprehensive assessment of their joint pain, helping them regain mobility. Some of the major causes of joint pain include:

  • Knee Pain

Swelling or cracking of the knee could be related to underlying problems such as arthritis or wear and tear. Sometimes the pain is due to a sustained sports injury. The most important thing is whether the swelling and cracking are painful or painless. Pain and swelling associated with arthritis are usually of a gradual progression. Sports injuries could also cause damage to the ligaments or cartilages of the knee. Other significant symptoms to watch out for when experiencing knee pain are instability, difficulty walking, running, or going up the stairs.

  • Hip Pain

There are many different reasons why people experience hip pain. Sometimes it is due to arthritis, which means that the cartilage on the two sides of the joint wears away. Other patients might experience muscular or nerve-related pain at the hip.  Inflamed ligaments or tendons around the hip and sports sprains are other causes of hip pain that patients experience. In addition, there may be an impingement on the top of the thigh bone and the outside of the hip for younger patients, which can cause secondary damage to the labrum, a rubber seal that runs around the edge of the sockets. Finally, another group of patients may sometimes experience pain in the hip joint, originating from the joint above the knee or the spine.

  • Foot and Ankle Pain

The majority of patients with foot and ankle pain present with problems related to the heel, whether underneath or at the back. The common causes of pain are plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendon problems. The next common concern is forefoot pain, resulting from tight cuff muscles or trapped nerves in the foot. Sometimes, inflammation, swelling, and ligament disruption in the forefoot can cause pain. A midfoot cause of pain is arch failure due to an injury or gradual progression towards loss of arch height, joint stiffness which can cause severe swelling, and foot misshaping. Another common cause of foot and ankle pain is diabetes and diabetes-related complications.

  • Elbow Pain

The four most common elbow conditions that patients complain of include lateral epicondylitis, which is a condition affecting the outside of the elbow where the tendons that help control the wrist get inflamed and irritated. The condition can be caused by activities such as tennis or other racket-type sports. Olecranon bursitis is another elbow concern seen in patients and is where the bursa on the posterior or back of the elbow gets inflamed and sometimes can be infected. Patients complain of the bursa being red, swollen, and painful. Elbow arthritis is wear and tear of the elbow cartilage, causing the bones to rub together. Finally, patients with cubital tunnel syndrome are where the ulnar nerve gets trapped or compressed at the elbow, causing numbness and tingling.

Treatment of Joint Pain

Treatment options for joint pain vary depending on the type. They can include physical therapy to help desensitize and stretch out compressed nerves, conservative measures such as NSAIDs or anti-inflammatories, and steroid injections into the joints can also help provide relief. Sometimes your doctor may recommend joint replacement through surgery.

Contact the offices of Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, P.C. if you are experiencing any discomfort in your joints to get individualized care.