As we age, so do all the systems of the body including the joints. Joints are what help us to move through life. As we walk, bend, twist and lift things, we are putting strain on our joints. When these joints are young and healthy, they move the way we want them to and we seldom feel any discomfort accompanied with that movement. However, as we get older and after using out joints for years, there is natural wear and tear on those same joints we have relied on for years.
Normal use wears away some of the natural cushioning between joints and bones called cartilage. The more intensely we use our joints, the more the cartilage will wear down leaving the joints vulnerable to pain and inflammation as seen in various forms of arthritis.
Of course, there are other causes of joint pain including tendonitis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis and infections. Pain often radiates to other parts of the body as joints swell and bring things out of alignment. Lifestyle can be interrupted because of the intense pain associated with shoulder/hip/knee/ankle/wrist pain.
Arthritis is the most common indication of joint pain, and most people eventually develop at least some form of arthritis over time. There are actually more than 100 different types of arthritis. One such type is gout which if prolonged can cause deterioration of the cartilage between bones leading to osteoarthritis. Since inflammation is what leads to shoulder/hip/knee/ankle/wrist pain and inflammation can lead to other diseases and disorders, it is important to get proper treatment when these symptoms present themselves.
Osteoarthritis is the most common condition that causes joint pain. Some others include rheumatoid arthritis, which is often considered an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack itself. Polymyalgia rheumatica, gout, Fibromyalgia, along with others cause injury to the joints in very different ways.
Arthritis is not always well understood, even though it is evident that inflammation is a contributing factor. For instance, some research has indicated that organisms like bacteria and viruses have something to do with the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. One thing is for sure though, and that is that arthritis is painful no matter what form it takes.
Treatment options for arthritis, no matter its cause, begin with a proper diagnosis and depend on the location, severity and persistence of the disease. Determining the underlying cause is essential for prescribing appropriate treatment. That treatment typically involves over the counter or prescribed medications, injections in the joints and home remedies. In some cases, surgical intervention may be indicated. Often weight reduction and avoidance of certain activities is the best option as it reduces the amount of stress put on the joints. When shoulder/hip/knee/ankle/wrist pain are alleviated, a return to normal living is made possible.