Top 10 Causes For A Joint Ache
There are a multitude of reasons why you may experience a joint ache. It is common to feel discomfort in your joints if the weather is damp, after playing sports, sleeping in a foreign bed or if you have the flu. However, if all of your joints are aching it is due to your immune system working extra hard because white blood cells are targeting specific areas of your body.
You actually experience a joint ache because of sore ligaments, muscles, cartilage or bones. Arthritis, bursitis, aseptic necrosis, sickle cell anemia, osteochondritis dissecans, steroid drug withdrawal, bone tumors, cartilage tears, fractures, tendonitis, sprains and synovial sarcoma are all common causes of discomfort in the joints.
Why Joints Hurt
A joint ache can certainly disrupt your day. Most people describe the pain as discomfort or tenderness, swelling of the area, movement restriction or a bruised feeling. Each symptom can have quite a few causes and it is not safe to assume that you have arthritis just because you are elderly.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – This is an autoimmune disease where the body actually attacks itself because it confuses healthy tissue for being foreign substances. This affects more women than men and targets any age group. Both sides of the body are affected equally and it typically occurs in the fingers, wrists, ankles, knees and feet.
- Bursitis – This is an inflammation of a fluid filled sac found between the skin and a tendon or between a bone and a tendon. Bursitis is caused by trauma, chronic overuse, gout, rheumatoid arthritis or infection and attacks the knees, shoulders, hips or elbows.
- Gout – A joint ache caused by gout is the result of your body having too much uric acid. This acid gradually builds up around your joints and crystals are formed. Although the exact cause of gout is unknown, it is believed that it may be hereditary or most common in postmenopausal women, males of any age or individuals who drink an abundance of alcohol or take water pills.
- Osteoarthritis – This is a condition that occurs when the bones wear away the cushioning around the joints. As a result, bony spurs are formed and then the muscles and ligaments become weak. Osteoarthritis is believed to run in families and long-term overuse or being overweight are also causes.
- Tendonitis – Typically the result of injury, aging or overuse, tendonitis most commonly targets the wrists, shoulders, elbows or heels. This is commonly seen in individuals with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Hepatitis – This inflammation of the liver is cause by parasites, viruses or bacteria, alcohol, poisonous mushrooms and acetaminophen overdose. Hepatitis can begin and end quickly or be long term which can result in liver failure, liver damage and liver cancer.
- Lupus – A joint ache is caused by this autoimmune disease because most affected individuals develop arthritis. The cause of lupus is unknown but it does predominantly target Asians and African Americans. Other symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, fever, hair loss, mouth sores, skin rash and sensitivity to light.
- Influenza – This virus causes a contagious infection of the throat, nose and lungs. It is easiest to catch the flu by breathing it in because it is released into the air by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include joint ache, chills, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting and lack of energy.
- Chicken Pox – A virus causes this disease that is characterized by hundreds of fluid-filled, itchy blisters that eventually burst and crusts are developed. This spreads incredibly fast because you become contagious two days before you notice an actual outbreak.
- Mumps – This contagious disease results in inflammation of your salivary glands and an overall ache in your joints. Other symptoms include face pain, headache, fever, sore throat, testicle pain and scrotal swelling.