Swelling Of Joint: Causes & Symptoms
Joints hold all your bones together. Along with the help of surrounding muscles, cartilages, and tendons, they help in the movement of your body. If these joints swell up, it affects your movement causing discomfort, pain and stiffness.
But what causes your joints to swell up? And how can you know if your joints are healthy or not?
Let’s get to it.
What Is A Swollen Joint?
Any joint in your body is surrounded by soft tissues around it. Due to certain reasons, fluid or liquid may build up in that area. This makes the area look inflamed from outside. This condition is called a swollen joint.
A Swollen Joint is not a disease in itself; it is actually a condition that hints towards an underlying disease or condition.
What Causes Swelling In Joints?
Swollen joints is a very common symptom associated with various forms of arthritis. It can also be caused if you have faced an injury or if you develop an infection after a previous surgery.
Let’s get into a little detail. If you feel a swollen joint, you can suspect the following health conditions:
- Osteoarthritis: An advanced stage of osteoarthritis (also known as, wear-and-tear arthritis) will show signs of swelling in your joints.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This kind of arthritis is characterised by joint stiffening and joint swelling.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriasis is a skin condition which can also affect your bones at a later time. If that happens, your joints may swell up.
- Gout: A gout arthritis is identified by sudden pain in joints accompanied by swelling and redness. The usual uric acid in your body forms crystals around your bones if you have gout and causes it to swell up.
- Infection: Your joints may also swell up if you have an infection near the area. This infection probably results from another infection in the body which gets carried on to your joints through the bloodstream.
- Injury: Outward injury and trauma can also cause infection leading to joint swelling.
How Can You Know If You Have Swollen Joints?
Watch out for the following symptoms of swelling of joint:
- Warm to touch
- Stiffness in the mornings
- Loss of movement
- Muscle stiffness
These symptoms may or may not be accompanied by fever and increase when the joint is exposed to cold.
When Should You See A Doctor?
Whenever you face any health-related discomfort, it is always advisable that you consult a doctor as soon as possible. The same in case of joint swelling also. But there are certain situations where you must visit a doctor without any delay.
Be alarmed if you see any of these conditions:
- Your joint swelling is accompanied by fever.
- You have an infection in the body or recently had an infection in the body
- You have been diagnosed with psoriasis. (Management of Psoriatic arthritis is easier when treatment is started early).
- The swelling persists for more than a few days even if there is no pain.
- If you are already taking medication for joint swelling and still you are facing the problem.
- If a swelling occurs after an injury.
- If you are totally unable to move the joint.
- You have recurring joint swelling which subsides but come back again.
Although some people suggest cold compression to ease joint swelling, it may not be effective in the long run. If you are facing an issue with swelling of a joint, visit an orthopaedician.
Until then, eat healthy, rest & exercise and keep your joints healthy!