Common causes of joint pain

cause of joint pain

Common causes of joint pain

Almost everyone has joint pain in some part of their body, at some point in their lives. Joint pain can affect just one joint or many, and can be caused by arthritis, injury, overuse, or bursitis (an inflammation or irritation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that acts like a grease to reduce friction), and many different illnesses and conditions. Finding the cause of joint pain is an important part of finding the right treatment.


Where joint pain follows an injury, it will be simple to identify the cause and the moment when the pain began. The injury should be evaluated by a GP if the pain is severe, there is numbness or obvious deformity, or the pain does not improve after a few days. X-rays may be required depending on the type and severity of the injury to determine if the pain is from a fracture.The doctor may also refer the case to a specialist in injuries to bones and joints, called an orthopaedic surgeon.


Inflammation and pain in a joint can also be caused by overuse of the joint, such as doing one repetitive activity (tennis, painting, running, typing, video games, etc.) for a long period of time. Sometimes this causes joint inflammation and pain, and sometimes bursitis. The bursa normally reduces friction between moving body parts, but can become inflamed and painful with overuse.


Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis,5 most involving damage to cartilage – stiff yet flexible tissue that also gives shape to your nose and ears. Cartilage normally covers the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide smoothly over one another with movement. But when cartilage is damaged or worn away, the bones rub together causing pain and loss of joint mobility.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, limits joint mobility and over time can impair joint function and lead to disability.

When it comes to long-term joint pain, the best approach is to work with doctors and other health care professionals to develop a lifelong pain management plan. This can include monitoring nutrition and exercise habits, as well as taking medications. Keeping a positive outlook and focusing on personal strengths and abilities can also help life return to normal, while keeping joint pain to a minimum.

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