Joints form the connections between bones. They provide support and help you move. Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause a lot of pain.
Joint problems can be caused by several issues, however the main causes are
Wear and tear. With age, the cartilages lining the bones tend to get worn out leading to reduction in the space between the bones and produces grating when the joint is moved. The bones can also get weak due to several factors like age, lack of exercises, deficiency of Calcium or Vitamin D and after menopause in women. This can also lead to chances of fracture and can cause joint pain and other problems in the joints.
Inflammation is a process, wherein the body secretes several chemicals to breakdown substances that are not functional or are foreign to the body, to disintegrate the unwanted materials and remove them. This is a protective function meant to protect the healthy tissues from invading organisms like bacteria and viruses and from being affected by the damaged tissues. Inflammation may be triggered by damages to the tissue as in the case of injury, or by infection or by a process called auto-immunity. However inflammation that gets out of control can badly damage the tissues leading to impaired functioning. Auto-immunity is one such condition where the immune system mistakes parts of the body for invading organisms and start attacking the body’s own tissues leading to damage to the structures involved.
- Damage due to Injury
Injury can cause structural damage to any of the tissues of a joint like the bones, the menisci, tendons and ligaments that can affect the functioning of the joints and lead to diseases.
- Pain – Pain may be at the joint or in parts of the body associated with the joint.
- Swelling – Swelling is often a sign of inflammation.
- Stiffness – Stiffness is caused by the body to prevent excessive movement in order to protect the damaged part.
- Limited range of movement – when a muscle or tendon is affected, it is not possible to move the joint through the full range that is normally possible.
- Tenderness – Tenderness is pain on touching the part and is a sign of inflammation.
- Weakness – Weakness of the part of the body associated with the joint is often seen.
- Inability to move the part – When a tendon or muscle is affected, the person is not able to move the affected part. Movement may also be restricted by pain.
- Fever – Joint problems can also be a part of a systemic issue and a disease that can affects the joint