Joint pain may be due to a variety of reasons. What are they and what can you do about it?
Joint pain or Arthralgia is just as the name implies, chronic or acute pain in the joints that can be caused for a variety of reasons – injury, illnesses, reactions to medication and infections. It must be noted that Arthralgia should not be confused with arthritis as arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints while arthralgia is non-inflammatory. Diagnosing Arthralgia is difficult as joint pain can be caused by a number of factors. Usually the doctor involved has to conduct an interview with the patient to zone in on the possible reasons for the pain that he/she is experiencing.
Aside from regular or sporadic pain in the joints there are a few other conditions that one has to look out for if accurately diagnosing Arthralgia. Swelling of the joints is common, as well as a redness hue in the part that is hurting. Sometimes it is noticed that the pain is concentrated in one specific area, such as the knees. The pain could fluctuate from mild to severe and it may be constant or last only a few minutes.
If there is an infection in the joints then it is common to experience a fever with chills. In Arthralgia it is not always only the joints that experience discomfort. Sometimes the pain might spread to the muscles as well. Due to the severity of the pain it might be difficult to complete everyday tasks. One might feel constantly fatigued and tired with the body not responding the way it normally does. Due to these conditions it might even be seen that it affect the individuals mindset with depression being the result.
To be able to provide a healthcare worker with a more accurate summary of your condition it might be a good idea to keep a diary of the pain that you are feeling. The questions would have to be diverse and cover a broad range of topics to be most effective. Note how long the ago it was when you first experienced pain in your joints. Was there a particular activity you were doing when it started? Is there something that could possibly attribute directly to the onset of this condition?
It is also important to describe the pain you are feeling in great detail. How does the pain feel? Is it a stabbing pain or a dull ache? Does it last for a long time or does it fade away after a little while? How intense is the pain that you are feeling? Try using a scale of 1 to 10 and record where your pain is on this scale at different times of the day. Does the scale change according to the activities that you do?
Knowing where the pain is concentrated is very important to determine what type of condition you have and how it can be improved. Is the pain in one place in particular, like a body part or an extremity? Does it hurt all over the body? Is it a fluctuation of the two?
Before you consulted a doctor maybe you tried fixing the problem yourself using home remedies or any other alternatives that you thought might relieve the pain. Did they help? Was the pain made worse by anything that you had tried? Did something work initially but stopped working after a while?
Sometimes joint pain can be linked to your psychological condition, a factor that is highly important for your doctor to know. When you are stressed or anxious is the pain in your joints made worse? Try to understand what comes first. The psychological change or the physical pain. Try to also keep a tab on your mood generally. Have you been feeling more depressed as of late when compared to your previous state of mind when you didn’t have pain in your joints?
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