What Are Joint Complaints?
A joint is a connection between bones and ensures that we can move. There are different types of joints:
- Ball joint: it can move in all directions. Examples of this are your shoulder and your hip.
- Saddle joint: it can move in two directions. There is a saddle joint at the transition from your hand to your thumb. That is why your thumb can move in more directions than your other fingers.
- Egg-forming joint: this too can only move in two directions, just like the saddle joint. Your wrist is an example of an egg-shaped joint.
- Hinge joint: this can only move in one direction. Your fingers and knees consist of hinged joints.
- Roll joint: just like the hinge joint, it can only move in one direction. The two bones in your forearm (spoke bone and ulcer) together form a roller joint.
A joint consists of two bones that come together. The ends of these bones are covered with a layer of cartilage. To keep the bones well together, there is a haircut and sturdy bands around the joint. The inner layer of the capsule makes a fluid that, together with the cartilage, serves as a lubricant for the joint. So you can keep moving smoothly. If something is wrong with the joint, joint complaints may arise.
Causes of Joint Complaints
When one of the parts of a joint becomes damaged, you may suffer from joint complaints. A joint can be damaged in various ways. A number of causes are briefly described below. You can click on the links for more information:
- Sprain: If you make a wrong move, the ligaments are stretched further than they are used to. Cracks will then appear in your ligaments.
- Overload: Even if you use a joint too long or too intensively, it can be damaged. RSI is an example of this.
- Osteoarthritis: In osteoarthritis, the cartilage at the ends of the bones becomes thinner. As a result, the bones move alongside each other less smoothly and joint pain can occur.
- Inflammation in the joint: A joint can become inflamed in several ways. For example due to an infection with bacteria or an autoimmune disease that affects the joints. Your immune system attacks parts of your own body with autoimmune diseases. Examples are: rheumatoid arthritis, gout and Bechterew’s disease.
Symptoms of Joint Complaints
Pain is the most common symptom in joint complaints. This pain mainly occurs the moment you start moving, the so-called starting pain. Joint pain can also occur with prolonged or intensive exertion, but there can also be pain when at rest.
In some cases of painful joints, the joint is also red, swollen and feels warm. Then there is an inflammation in the joint.
Treatment of Joint Complaints
When the joint is red, thick and warm, it is best to visit your doctor for further examination. You will probably have to rest and raise the painful joint. Here too you can take a painkiller to relieve the pain.
Also visit a doctor if:
- The pain symptoms do not diminish after two days.
- The complaints are not gone after two weeks.
- You think there is serious damage.
Because the blood flow to cartilage and the entire inside of a joint is very poor, it can take a long time for traumatic damage to be fully restored.
What Can You Do Yourself With Joint Complaints? If pain is the only complaint, it is best to try to keep moving as much as possible. Also in the case of osteoarthritis it is important to keep moving, preferably half an hour a day. This way you keep flexible joints. However, avoid overloading the painful joint. A physical therapist can help you with exercises to recover as quickly as possible.