The Aword

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Joint Pain

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Also known as: arthralgia; note that arthritis = inflammation of the joint.

Joint pain occurs in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Joint pain is not always caused by arthritis but can still be very troublesome.

Joints all consist of:

  • joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses the joint and connects one bone to another;
  • synovium, the inner lining of the joint capsule, which secretes synovial fluid to lubricate as well as nourish cartilage;
  • cartilage, which caps the ends of the bones and absorbs shock, while providing a smooth surface over which the bone ends can easily glide across each other during movement;
  • ligaments;
  • tendons;
  • bursae, small, fluid-filled sacs which cushion ligaments and tendons, and thus protect them against wear and tear due to friction.

Causes of joint pain:

  • unusual exertion or overuse (including strains or sprains),
  • injury to muscle and/or bone, including fracture
  • gout (especially found in the big toe),
  • osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease),
  • septic arthritis (infection)
  • tendinitis(inflamed tendon),
  • bursitis (inflamed bursa)
  • chondromalacia patellae (pain in the knee under the knee cap)
  • infectious diseases (including influenza, measles, rheumatic fever, Epstein-Barr viral syndrome (Glandular fever), hepatitis, mumps, rubella, osteomyelitis).
  • Inflammatory arthritis (e.g.Rheumatoid)
  • Systemic conditions e.g. Lupus