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Joint or Muscle Pain


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Almost everyone experiences an occasional twinge of muscle or joint pain after a strenuous day of gardening, an unusually vigorous tennis match. Many illnesses, particularly the flu, produce minor muscle and joint aches. Joint pain may also be a symptom of infection.

What are some causes of joint or muscle pain?

Arthritis

There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis, which is a term that means inflammation of a joint. You may have osteoarthritis if you are over 50 years of age and suffer from occasional joint pain with no accompanying symptoms. Joint pain and inflammation with a generalized sense of illness and a low-grade fever may indicate rheumatoid arthritis. If the pain is centered in your back, you may have a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Muscle and joint pain in a young woman may be symptoms of lupus, a disease characterized by ulcerations of the skin.

Joint pain can be caused by a variety of conditions such as Carpal tunnel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, gout, or infection, Lyme disease, psoriasis, rheumatic fever or sprains and strains. Carpal tunnel syndrome often develops in people whose jobs involve repetitive hand and wrist motions. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease in which the intestinal lining becomes swollen and develops ulcers. Gout is a type of arthritis that causes a distinctive, stabbing joint pain usually in the big toe. A bad cold or a case of the flu can cause generalized muscle aches. If you live in a heavily wooded area and get bitten by a tick, you may develop Lyme disease. Arthritis can develop several months after the initial bite. Scaling skin on the elbows, knees, or scalp, accompanied by pain and swelling in several joints, may be an indication of psoriasis. An inflamed, swollen joint following a sore throat is a common manifestation of rheumatic fever. Minor muscle and joint injuries are usually the result of overuse.

Advice about joint or muscle pain

  • If your muscle and joint pain is caused by the flu, rest in bed, take acetaminophen or aspirin, drink plenty of fluids. Call your doctor if symptoms continue.
  • If your joint or muscle pain is from overuse or injury, treat with the R. I. C. E. method: Rest; Ice for 10 minutes every hour the first day; Compression and Elevation of the injured part. Call a doctor if it does not improve in 48 hours.
  • If you have fever or other signs of illness in combination with joint or muscle pain, call your doctor immediately.
  • Some types of arthritis are hard to diagnose so it is a good idea to keep a journal of the type of pain, when it occurs (morning or night), how bad is the pain and if other symptoms occur with it. Take your journal with you to your doctor.   It may reveal important clues and help to establish a pattern.

 

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Joint or Muscle Pain

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