FITNESS: Non-Arthritic Joint Pain | Great Health Guide
FITNESS: Non-Arthritic Joint Pain

FITNESS: Non-Arthritic Joint Pain

‘Non-Arthritic Joint Pain’ by Michael Dermansky published in Great Health Guide (Feb 2017). Not all joint pain can be treated equally. Finding out the cause of your joint pain is key for proper treatment. Read more for various suggestions on how to heal your joints and live pain-free.
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Fitness: Non-Arthritic Joint Pain

written by Michael Dermansky

Joint pain can occur for several reasons, some simple and others that are more serious. Arthritis, in particular osteoarthritis, is a common cause of direct joint pain and swelling. however, even in severe cases of degenerative joint arthritis, this may not be the cause of the pain. The following are other causes of pain in the joints that are different and may not be as long term as arthritis. They need to be treated differently.

1. Muscle, joint structures and biomechanical reasons for joint pain: Even in cases of arthritis, the muscle or other structures can be cause of the pain. The most typical example is knee pain. You can have severe knee arthritis and feel no pain or have very mild arthritis and feel severe pain. The most common cause of knee pain is irritation of the lining of the knee cap due to weakness and poor control of the position of the knee cap. The knee cap shifts its position causing irritation of the lining of the joint, called the synovium, causing pain. This is treatable, by strengthening the quadriceps, the major muscle surrounding the knee cap and by mobilising the knee cap to reduce the direct pressure on the synovium. Similarly, in other joints, such as the shoulders, hips, lower back and wrists, muscle and other treatable physical factors can be the cause of pain rather than the arthritis.

2. Sprain of the joint capsules: An incident or injury that puts excessive pressure on the joints can cause a tear of the joint capsule. A common example is a tear in the capsule of the shoulder, during sports such as netball or football. It needs to be assessed and treated properly, but this injury heals and gets better with the right management.

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3. More severe and long term causes of joint pain: Other causes of joint pain can be more severe inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. Although the causes are different, these are auto-immune diseases that cause severe swelling, stiffness and warmth in the joints as well as painful movement. However, the pattern of these diseases is distinct and different. These diseases usually cause night pain and there is a severe inflammatory response in the joints, meaning that the joints will become swollen, hot and red. In addition, this does not occur suddenly in general but develops over time. If any of these sound like your symptoms your physiotherapist or doctor will detect these patterns fairly early and determine the correct treatment or refer you to the appropriate specialist for the right testing and management.

Author of this article:
Michael Dermansky is a Senior Physiotherapist and Managing Director of MD Health Pilates, with 17 years’ experience of treating clients from all walks of life, from 6-year-old children all the way to the age of 92. He can be contacted through his website.

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