Joint inflammation is a condition in which the joints become inflamed due to an overactive immune system. The areas most often affected are the back, hips, feet, knees, and hands. The condition may result from an injury but could be due to chronic diseases such as arthritis. Joint inflammation affects millions of men, women, and children worldwide.
The signs and symptoms of joint inflammation will vary depending on the cause and the location of the joint. However, common symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, warmth, redness, and limited range of motion. In some cases, joint inflammation can also cause fatigue, weight loss, and fever.
Causes of Joint Inflammation
There are several causes of joint inflammation. The most common is wear and tear of the joint over time, also known as osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, infections, and injuries may also cause joint inflammation. If you suffer from severe pain and inflamed joints, seek the advice of a healthcare professional, such as a rheumatologist, for help determining the cause of the condition.
Diagnosing joint inflammation typically involves a physical exam, medical history review, and diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. Blood tests also help diagnose arthritis and rule out other causes of joint pain.
Treatment for joint inflammation depends on the cause, severity, and location of the inflammation. Common options include medicines, weight loss, physical therapy, and surgery.
Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids can help reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy can also help improve mobility and strength, while lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise can help improve overall joint health.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged joints when other treatments have failed. Surgery can involve joint replacement, fusion, or repair.
It’s impossible to prevent joint inflammation completely, but you can take steps to reduce the risk. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding high-pressure exercise and excessive joint pressure can help limit wear and tear. Practicing good posture and avoiding long periods of inactivity is also essential, as this can cause stiffness and muscle weakness.
Joint inflammation can be painful and debilitating, but managing the symptoms and improving overall joint health with the proper treatment is possible.
If you are experiencing joint pain, swelling, or stiffness, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our Rheumatology team at SMC Physicians today to determine the cause of the inflammation and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Don’t let joint inflammation limit your quality of life—seek medical attention for proper care and management.
Conditions We Treat
We provide ultrasound-guided arthrocentesis (joint injections) of both steroids and gel injections such as Orthovisc and Synvisc.
We offer a state-of-the art private infusion center at each location, offering the following medications and more:
Our Rheumatology Locations: