Signs and Causes of Joint Pain, and When to Reach Out to an Orthopedic Surgeon
Joint pain is defined as a joint that either feels stiff, achy, sore, or uncomfortable in any way. Unfortunately, joint pain is a very common problem among most adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in four adults with arthritis report severe joint pain related to their condition.
However, there are millions of people who experience joint pain that are caused due to injury, age-related reasons, and other healthcare issues. Joint pain can greatly affect a person’s quality of life, especially those who are active and regularly exercise or play competitive sports.
Beyond pain and stiffness, people with joint pain experience a myriad of mobility issues. Joint pain can be a major hindrance when walking, ascending/descending stairs, sitting down, and standing. Severe cases of joint pain can even make sleeping difficult.
Considering the number of people that joint pain affects and the way that it can negatively impact their lives, it should come as no surprise that the physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists at Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita make relieving joint pain one of our primary goals here at our practice.
We accomplish this by offering professional physical therapy, pain management techniques, minimally invasive joint replacement surgery, and other methods intended to relieve the effects of joint pain.
What Are the Common Causes of Joint Pain?
There are numerous causes of joint pain, which explains why it is such a common condition among patients. Joint pain can be caused from engaging in physical activity or through an injury. For instance, tennis elbow is one of the most common repetitive use injuries that we deal with at our practice. Numerous simple causes of joint pain such as strength imbalances, faulty movement patterns, or abnormal postures can be quickly identified and corrected by a regular physical therapist.
However, sometimes joint pain comes out of nowhere as a result of an unexpected disease or illness. Additionally, the medical data collected so far suggests that older demographics are more susceptible to conditions that cause joint pain. Some of the most common conditions include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Bone cancer
- Gonococcal arthritis
- Lyme disease
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Septic arthritis
As you can see from this list, joint pain can be caused by several sources, some of which are chronic conditions that will continually need to be managed over the course of many years.
Joint Pain Treatments and When to Contact an Orthopedic Doctor
There are numerous at-home treatment options you can use for minor cases of joint pain. For instance, patients with mild cases of tennis elbow or tendinitis will usually see vast improvement by employing the following:
- Allow the joint to rest
- Use heat and ice therapy
- Take Tylenol or anti-inflammatory medication (as directed)
- Use supportive aids or braces
- Use topical treatments (for pain management)
Additionally, many cases of joint pain occurring in the knees can be attributed to being overweight. In those cases, we typically recommend a lifestyle change that focuses on diet, exercise, and professional physical therapy.
Joint pain may feel sudden or happen gradually with time due to overuse, too much rest, or decreased load tolerance. Contact an orthopedic doctor if you are experiencing any of the following:
- You do not have full mobility of the joint
- You are unable to put weight on the joint
- You feel a grinding sensation when using the joint
- The joint is in extreme pain
- The joint has suddenly swelled
- The joint appears deformed
Any of these indicators means that you should reach out for immediate medical attention. At the very least, you need to have an orthopedic doctor examine the affected area. After collecting a detailed medical history, your orthopedic doctor may order an MRI or X-ray to better understand the cause of your condition.
Depending on your specific condition, your orthopedic doctor may recommend one or a combination of treatments. These may include professional physical therapy, prescription medication, pain management techniques, and possibly even surgery, which is the last resort of all treatment methods. It’s worth noting that most cases of joint pain problems don’t require surgery and can usually be corrected with physical therapy. In the event you’re one of the rare few who require surgery, Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita has several orthopedic specialists to help you get going again.
Surgical patients are referred over to one of our skilled orthopedic surgeons at Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita, which conveniently keeps them under the same roof with the doctors that understand their condition. We try to keep surgery as minimally invasive as possible; however, some cases of joint pain can’t be solved through arthroscopic surgery. Sometimes full joint replacement surgery is necessary to fully resolve the issue.
Of course, our surgical patients are walked through a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to aid them in making a complete recovery. In cases of joint replacement surgery, most patients require professional physical therapy to regain full mobility of the joint. Mid-America Orthopedics is one of the leading practices offering physical therapy near you in the Wichita area.
Ready to Relieve Your Joint Pain and Regain Your Quality of Life? Contact Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita
Joint pain affects millions of Americans every year, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. Contact the team at Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita to schedule your initial examination. Once we collect a detailed medical history and perform some tests, we will develop a treatment plan that’s customized to your specific condition that’s aimed to relieve your joint pain symptoms.
Our orthopedic doctors, professional therapists, and orthopedic surgeons have decades of combined experience helping patients of all ages overcome their joint pain. We also provide patients with direct access to physical therapists for generalized (non-traumatic) pain associated with weightlifting, sports, and exercise that focuses on training proper movement techniques.