While it's easy to dismiss occasional discomfort as a normal part of aging, ignoring joint pain can have serious consequences. Turn to the experienced team at Northwest Extremity Specialists for a prompt diagnosis and state-of-the-art orthopedic treatment services.
What Can Cause Joint Pain?
The first step to treating your joint pain is to understand what’s causing your symptoms. Joint pain can be caused by several conditions, each requiring a different treatment approach.
Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain. Osteoarthritis develops due to the gradual wear and tear of joint cartilage, leading to pain and persistent stiffness in the affected joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the body's immune system mistakenly targets the joints, inciting inflammation and pain. If left unaddressed, both conditions can evolve into sources of chronic discomfort.
Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, small sacs filled with fluid that cushion and lubricate joints. Inflamed bursae can lead to pain, particularly in areas where friction or pressure occurs.
Gout is characterized by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. It is known for its abrupt, excruciating bouts of pain, often targeting the big toe. Failure to address gout can result in recurrent episodes of severe joint pain, which may eventually lead to permanent joint damage. Proper management of this condition, including lifestyle changes and medication, is crucial to preventing its debilitating consequences.
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that can wreak havoc on the body's immune system, causing it to erroneously attack the joints. This triggers inflammation that can result in significant joint damage. Seeking medical attention early on can help manage the autoimmune response and alleviate joint discomfort.
Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating condition transmitted by ticks, and it poses a significant health concern if left untreated. One of its hallmark symptoms is joint pain, which can be particularly pronounced if the infection is not promptly addressed. This discomfort often targets the knee joints, making mobility and everyday activities challenging.
Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the weakening of bones and a loss in bone density, is widely recognized for its impact on bone health. However, it's important to note that osteoporosis can also bring about joint pain and discomfort. The spine and hips are particularly vulnerable areas.
Tendonitis occurs when the tendons that connect muscle to bone become inflamed or irritated. It often results from overuse or repetitive motions and can cause joint pain near the affected tendon.
Traumatic incidents, including fractures, dislocations, or sprains, have the potential to damage the joints. Prompt medical intervention is essential to ensure proper healing.
How Our Portland Orthopedic Specialists Can Help
Regardless of the specific cause, untreated joint pain negatively affects a person’s overall quality of life. Persistent joint pain can limit your capacity to engage in routine tasks, pursue your career, and partake in activities you once cherished. Beyond the physical constraints, the emotional toll of chronic pain can lead to anxiety, depression, and a general sense of frustration.
Northwest Extremity Specialists provides comprehensive care to relieve joint pain and restore mobility. When you visit one of our Portland area locations, we will conduct a thorough examination of the affected area and evaluate your symptoms. Depending on the suspected cause of your joint pain, we may also order tests such as X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, or joint fluid analysis to help diagnose the underlying condition.
Once a diagnosis is made, we will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment may include pain medication, injections, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, or surgery. We will explain the pros and cons of each treatment option so you can make an informed decision about your care.
Many conditions that cause joint pain require ongoing management. Depending on your needs, we will schedule follow-up appointments to track your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.