Chronic joint pain is actually much more common than you might think. When people first think about joint pain, they usually think about the knees, hips, or shoulder, but joint pain can settle into any joint, including the ankle or elbow. There could be several possibilities for the origin of your pain, and these are just a few.
Did you know that there are actually over 40 different types of arthritis? The two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the cartilage of the joints. Osteoarthritis is usually caused by normal aging, but can also be a problem for 30-somethings if they have led a very active or hard life.
Although these two types of arthritis are very different, the end result is the same. Cartilage in the joint wears away, causing joint stiffness and pain. It may also cause limited range of motion or difficulty moving around.
If you have joint pain that you really don’t know the origin of, it could be a repetitive injury. Repetitive injuries aren’t always immediately obvious. These injuries usually occur in patients whose work duties themselves are repetitive. Some positions that are most likely to cause repetitive injuries include:
- Secretary/Administrative Assistant/Data Entry Operator: Typing several hours a day, five days per week for a long duration could cause carpal tunnel or arthritis in the hands.
- Construction Workers: There are many different areas of the construction industry, but most often employees have one specific set of duties that requires repetitive motion.
- Factory/Assembly Workers: Factory and assembly line workers usually stand in one area performing one task over and over for hours, which can cause pain in any of your joints.
Repetitive injuries can only be diagnosed by an experienced orthopedic specialist, both by examination and imaging.
If you aren’t sure what is causing your chronic joint pain, call us today to schedule an appointment and get on the road to recovery.