Joint Diseases: Everything You Need to Know

Joint diseases are relatively common. About 23% of adults in the United States live with arthritis, and 24 million adults report that their condition significantly impacts their quality of life. 

People living with joint diseases require adequate care provided by a healthcare professional to enjoy a higher quality of life and find relief from the aches and discomfort that joint disease often brings. Here’s what you need to understand about joint disease and how to ease discomfort associated with joint conditions. 

Common Types of Joint Disease

Some joint diseases are temporary. Others flare up occasionally, while others are often a source of chronic discomfort for those living with these conditions. 

Bursitis

Bursitis occurs when the bursae, the small fluid cushions within the joints, become red and swollen. This can occur due to an infection but most commonly occurs due to overuse or injury. Bursitis is usually temporary, but people prone to developing bursitis may encounter the condition several times throughout their lives.

Gout

Gout is a common form of arthritis that primarily affects toe joints. Joints accumulate crystals that form when excessive uric acid accumulates within the body. Symptoms of gouts can cause swelling and discomfort. 

They often occur when someone is at rest, as fluid can quickly accumulate in the lower extremities at this time. This condition is common in people who also experience kidney stones

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune condition that occurs in growing children. Their bodies mistakenly identify joint tissue as a foreign body and begin to attack it in an attempt to purge it from the body. Juvenile arthritis requires immediate medical intervention, as the progression of the condition can have a negative impact on a child’s growth.  

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative, chronic, and progressive form of arthritis that generally occurs in older adults. Over time, the cartilage that supports joints will break down with frequent use. 

In some cases, that cartilage does not receive adequate support to maintain its health. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common autoimmune illnesses that affect adults. The body mistakes joint tissue for a harmful invader and sends immune cells out to attack it. This process causes a response that leads to joint discomfort and sometimes visible swelling of the affected joint. 

Causes and Risk Factors of Joint Diseases

Many people living with arthritis have family members who are also living with the condition. Joint disease is also more common in women, middle-aged people, and people who use tobacco. 

Osteoarthritis and gout can occur in weight-bearing joints, particularly in individuals carrying excess body weight. People with higher BMIs may be more prone to developing these conditions.

A lack of sun exposure, vitamin D, calcium, and physical activity can contribute to osteoarthritis. Other joint diseases can often occur as a result of lifestyle factors. 

Physically demanding jobs that involve heavy lifting or constant movement can place significant stress on the joints. Sedentary lifestyles can increase the risk of joint disease, as the body requires exercise to strengthen and fortify itself. 

Common Symptoms of Joint Diseases

Most people with joint disease will experience discomfort in the affected joints and limitations in full range of motion, joint stiffness, and reduced function of the joints. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms like low energy and exacerbated symptoms upon waking are also common. 

People with diseases like osteoarthritis may experience difficulty standing upright, a decrease in height, back discomfort with no discernible cause, or bumps on the joints of their fingers. 

How Joint Diseases Are Diagnosed

There are many conditions or types of injuries that can contribute to joint pain. Before diagnosing joint disease, doctors will need to conduct a thorough physical examination or MRI. Joint pain can sometimes directly result from other conditions, like fallen foot arches or differences in limb lengths that place undue stress on overworked joints. 

Suppose joint disease appears to be the culprit. In that case, doctors may ask questions about a patient’s medical history and family history to make a diagnosis. Doctors often use a combination of imaging techniques and blood tests to evaluate the progression and severity of joint diseases. 

For osteoarthritis, special bone density tests may be necessary to determine the damage osteoarthritis has caused to the affected bones. 

Support in Treating and Managing Joint Disease

Moist joint diseases, with the exception of bursitis, cannot be cured. When necessary, they can be managed or significantly improved through proper medical treatment, lifestyle changes like following a healthy diet with essential vitamins and nutrients.  

Prescribed Medications

Prescription medication is often used to treat the symptoms of joint disease. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to slow the progression of certain conditions that impact the joints. Doctors may also provide steroid injections to swollen joints in order to ease symptoms and side effects. 

Some doctors may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs or medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) to relieve occasional breakthrough pain. 

Lifestyle Changes

People with joint health concerns need to maintain a healthy weight. If weight reduction would benefit your overall health, ask your doctor about safe, slow, and sustainable weight reduction methods that will ultimately help to relieve stress on your joints.

Adopting healthier habits, like low-intensity walks or yoga, may help to relieve pain and tension throughout the body while subtly building strength and improving circulation. Start with short sessions at first, gradually increasing the length of time you exercise as your body acclimates.

Surgical Intervention and Physical Therapy

Severe cases of joint disease may require joint replacement and rehabilitation. Surgery is generally utilized as a last resort. Healthcare professionals will attempt to institute an effective management regimen through lifestyle changes and medications, only presenting the option of surgery if non-invasive treatments prove to be ineffective to a patient with joint disease. 

Topical Relief Products

Many people with joint disease find topical soothing and relieving products to help manage everyday aches and discomfort. The effects of the products may last several hours and can be applied on an as-needed basis, even if they’re needed multiple times a day. 

Hempvana Provides the Relief You Need

Hempvana Hemp Pain Cream is formulated to provide relief to achy joints. We’ve formulated our hemp-infused relief cream with 10% trolamine salicylate, an ingredient clinically demonstrated to penetrate the skin and relieve pain from muscle and tissue swelling. 

Trolamine salicylate is in the same family as aspirin. Instead of orally ingesting aspirin, you’re applying a similar medication directly to the area that needs relief the most. 

Simply massage the gel into the affected joint to increase absorption and improve circulation. This gel is infused with hemp seed oil, a moisturizer that leaves the skin feeling softer and more supple to the area where the gel has been applied. 

The active ingredients begin to provide relief in as little as a few minutes. 

 

Sources:

How CDC Improves Quality of Life for People With Arthritis | Centers for Disease Control

Gout - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Growth retardation and delayed puberty in children and adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis | National Institutes of Health

OA and Obesity Risks | Arthritis Foundation