Joint Pain - Causes and Symptoms

What Is a Joint?
Joint is formed by the ends of two or more bones. They are connected by thick bands of tissue which is called ligaments. For example, the knee joint is formed by the lower leg bone, called the tibia or shinbone, and the thighbone, called the femur. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint. It is formed by a ball, at the upper end of the thighbone, and a rounded socket, or acetabulum, in the pelvis.

The ends of the bones in a joint are covered with a smooth, soft material which is called cartilage. The cartilage allows fluent, nearly frictionless movement. The other part of the surfaces of the joint are covered by a thin, smooth tissue lining called the synovium. The synovium produces fluid that acts as a lubricant, it reduces the friction and wear in the joint.

Common Causes of Joint Pain
The most common causes of joint pain is the arthritis. The most common types of arthritis are:

Osteoarthritis (OA) - It is called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition. It's involving the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. When cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other, causing stiffness and it is very painful. OA usually occurs in people aged fifty years and older. It is frequently in individuals with a family history of osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – A chemical changes in the synovium that cause it to become thickened and inflamed. When this happen the synovial fluid destroys cartilage. The result is cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness. The Rheumatoid Arthritis affects women about 3 times more often than men, and it also may affect other organs of the body.

Post-traumatic Arthritis – This type of arthritis can be developed after an injury to the joint. Which means that the bone and cartilage do not heal properly. The joint is no longer smooth, there is more friction, and these lead to more wear on the joint surfaces.

Avascular Necrosis - Can result when the bone is deprived of its normal blood supply. Without the proper nutrition from the blood, the bone’s structure weakens. In turn it may collapse and damage the cartilage. This condition often occurs after long-term treatment with cortisone or after an organ transplantation. Joint pain can also be caused by some deformation or direct injury to the joint. In some cases, joint pain is made worse because people will avoid using the painful joint. This will weaken the muscles and making the joint even more difficult to move.