DO YOU HAVE UNEXPLAINED JOINT PAIN?
Do you have aching, painful joints? Joints are key parts of the body. Without them, we can't move. However we never really think about joints until something goes wrong with them. They might cause pain, and be swollen or perhaps they do not move as they should.
There are many causes for painful joints, but here's some useful questions you should ask yourself to try to get to the root of the problem, and then take treatment.
ARE YOU OVERUSING THAT JOINT?
If you are over-using or straining a particular joint, you might be experiencing some wear and tear or even osteoarthritis. It's best to stop or reduce that activity which you think is causing undue stress on your limbs and joints and you might have to figure out a way of reducing or changing the way you move to prevent further pain.
HAVE YOU INJURED YOURSELF RECENTLY?
Ask yourself if you have recently been injured. Maybe you had a fall or twisted yourself recently. Or perhaps knocked into something. Sometimes a pain in the joint might not occur right away. Sometimes it takes a day or two for swelling and pain to be felt. If so, then you could probably do with resting that joint, applying a heat or ice pack and perhaps elevating it up. An anti-flammatory drug such as ibuprofen or acetominophen might be prescribed to eat the pain and reduce swelling.
In some cases there might be internal bleeding in a joint which is causing pain. A doctor can use a needle to remove the blood and give you some medication to reduce the swelling.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PAST MAJOR INJURIES?
Somtimes if you have had a serious joint injury in the past, it may be causing you a problem now. For example, many people who have had major knee surgery or on a similar joint have an increased chance of arthritis which can be painful and lead to swelling of the joints. This might not happen for days, weeks, even years after the original injury or surgery.
DO YOU HAVE A TEMPERATURE?
This may surprise you, but joints may develop an infection too just like other parts of the body. Even a simple infection such as a cold virus might travel down into the joints. If so, go see a doctor as a simple course of antibiotics will probably do the trick.There are more serious conditions such as gonorrhea, the sexually transmitted disease, which can travel through the bloodstream to the joints and cause nasty joint pain.
ARE YOU TAKING ANY KIND OF MEDICATION?
Some drugs have side effects which may include painful joints. Tell your doctor what medication you are on.
IS THE JOINT SWELLING IN YOUR BIG TOE?
This is normally a sign of gout. Gout produces too much uric acid which starts to build up in the blood and can be very painful. There are long-term medication and treatments available for gout including diet and lifestyle changes. There are also drug treatments for acute gout attacks.
ARE YOUR TOILET HABITS AFFECTED?
If your bowel habits have changed, for example if you have suffered from either constipation or diarrhoea together with aching joints, you might have inflammatory bowel arthritis or a condition like Crohn's disease. Usually a course of steriods and anti-infammatories will help.
As with all health issues, don't ignore it hoping it will go away. Do the right thing and see your doctor or health practitioner.