Joint pain – Causes, Symptoms and Risk factors

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What is Joint pain?

Joints are the point at which two bones touch each other on your body. Joints play a vital role in moving skeleton bones.

Joint pain usually occurs in the hand, foot, hip, knees or spine. Joint pain may sometimes last for long or may be intermittent at times.

Furthermore, the joint could be stiff in the morning but get looser and feel better when you do stretching or exercise. However, an excessive stretching could deteriorate the pain.

Causes of Joint Pain


The swelling and pain of one or more joints are symptoms of arthritis. Joint stiffness and pain are the primary signs of arthritis; these symptoms often worsen with age.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Pain, swelling and deformity can all be symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Joint erosion and degradation occur due to fluid accumulation and inflammation of the tissue that lines your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can harm more than just your joints.


Bursitis is a painful ailment that impacts the bursae, which are tiny sacs filled with fluid. It helps to cushion the tendons, bones and muscles close to your joints. Bursitis most frequently occurs in the shoulder, elbow and hip.

Viral infections

The swelling and irritation of a joint brought on by viral infection are known as viral arthritis. The bones, muscles, cartilage and ligaments that make up joints are intricate systems that serve to support weight and move the body through space.


Any injury that occurs around the joints can cause persistent joint pain. A common kind of arthritis called osteoarthritis develops due to this injury. Sometimes, severe injury may lead to joint tear and damage to the cartilage.

Symptoms of Joint pain


Pain or stiffness are frequently brought on by joint swelling. Swelling of the joint after an injury may indicate that you have a shattered bone or a muscle, tendon or ligament rupture.

Other than that, numerous varieties of arthritis can all result in swelling, redness or warmth near the joint. Swelling and knee discomfort are the symptoms of joint infection.

Stiff or enlarged joint

A chronic ailment like osteoarthritis begins due to stiff or enlarged joints. This enlarged point may result in conditions like fibromyalgia and an infectious illness like the flu or the mumps, which may be indicated by sudden, widespread joint pain.


Numbness is caused due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) tingling in the hands and feet. Joint inflammation causes these signs and symptoms, which might impede nerves and cause numbness.

Noisy joints

Any popping sounds in the joint could be caused due to motion of the body, which is usually okay. Crepitus (noisy joint) is most frequently felt in the knees and other joints, such as the neck, shoulder or elbow.

Difficulty bending

Patellar tendonitis may cause knee pain at the front of the joint. Difficulty bending can be seen during squatting, kneeling or bending the knee. Usually, the more a knee bends, the more pain it causes.

Loss of motion

Arthritis-related stiffness, discomfort and swelling can significantly restrict the range of motion in joints. Avoiding exercise due to pain or discomfort can result in substantial muscle loss and uncontrollable weight gain.

A red, swollen joint

Warm joints are frequently unpleasant due to swelling and redness. This symptom and others can signify several illnesses, such as arthritis and injury.

Treatments for Joint pain

Simple home treatments

You can do the following home treatments for joint pain.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric has fantastic health advantages as it contains anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. It contains curcumin, a substance with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

To get rid of joint pain, boil a cup of water with a half teaspoon of ground ginger and turmeric for 10 minutes. Drink this ‘twice’ daily after flavouring with honey.

2. Tulsi

Tulsi, or holy basil, has miraculous results for rheumatoid arthritis. It possesses antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. It also acts effectively in reducing joint and arthritis-related pain. Drink tulsi tea three to four times daily to relieve knee pain.

3. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper has a unique ingredient called capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It briefly depletes a brain molecule that activates pain receptors and reroutes nerves to block joint discomfort. For immediate relief, apply the paste in the painful area.

4. Heat and cold compression

Compression with either heat or cold reduces inflammation. Heat reduces stiffness by relaxing muscles and enhances lubrication. Use a heating pad for the best effects if your knee becomes irritated.

You can apply an ice cube to the injured area by wrapping it in a cloth.

5. Epsom salts

Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory properties that help to lessen joint discomfort and swelling. Epsom salts contain both magnesium and sulphate, which are potent painkillers. You can take a 30-minute bath with a handful of epsom salt mixed to the water.


People with arthritis or severe joint pain need to exercise. It improves stamina and flexibility of the joint and reduces pain.

Weight loss

Sudden weight loss and persistent body fatigue may sometimes result in knee swelling and joint pain. However, people with hypermobility will feel more joint discomfort due to weight loss.

Topical treatments

The following are some of the widely suggested medications for topical treatments.

Counterirritants – Counterirritants are substances like menthol, methyl salicylate and camphor that produce a burning or cooling feeling that diverts your attention away from the pain.

Salicylates – Some creams which contain aspirin may help to relieve pain. This reduces pain when absorbed into the skin, especially in joints near the skin, including the fingers, knees and elbows.

Lidocaine – This drug reduces pain. It can be applied as a gel or a patch to the sore spot. If you take medications for your heart or liver issues, speak to your doctor before taking this medicine.

Capsaicin – One of the best substances for topical pain treatment is capsaicin. Both joint pain and diabetic nerve pain can benefit from this medicine.

Dietary supplements

Some people use vitamins to treat arthritis-related joint discomfort. Among them are green tea, glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids and others.

Glucosamine – Glucosamine may have an anti-inflammatory impact and aids in maintaining the condition of joint cartilage. As people age, their natural glucosamine levels decrease.

Chondroitin – When treating osteoarthritis, chondroitin is frequently used with glucosamine. This medicine decreases pain and improves joint mobility.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish oil and other meals that contain omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the body to create substances that reduce inflammation. This supplement might help ease rheumatoid arthritis patients and relieve their pain.

Green teaStrong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances in green tea may help treat joint pain.

Risk factors of joint pain

The following are the risk factors for joint pain.


Risk factors like arthritis, tendinitis and bursitis are a few of the issues that are caused due to obesity. Staying fit and maintaining a proper BMI is the best way to eliminate joint pain.

Family history

You may be more prone to developing arthritis in the future if your parents or siblings have had this condition before. Changes in the collagen-producing genes frequently bring on hereditary types of osteoarthritis.


Genes that increase a person’s chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been the subject of numerous genetic research. Other than that, environmental factors like age, gender and smoking affect the body’s development of strength and stamina.

Prevention of Joint pain

The following are the ways to prevent joint pain.

Healthy weight

Adults with arthritis who are of a healthy weight can reduce pain and enhance function.

The cartilage that covers the ends of your bones and joints is under increased stress when you gain weight. This causes difficulty bending.

Control your blood sugar

Numerous factors, including joint or nerve damage, can contribute to joint discomfort in people with diabetes. Diabetes increases your risk of developing several bone and joint diseases.


Walking, biking and swimming are low-impact aerobic exercises that are easy on your joints. It is said that 150 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity may help you stay away from joint pain for a very long time.


Stretching is essential for preventing and reducing arthritis pain. Regular stretching can make you feel better in various ways, regardless of whether you have creaky knees, a sore back, stiff hips or several problematic joints.

Quit smoking

Smoking may make joint and stomach pain worse. Smoking may generally make people more sensitive to pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 18% of Americans who smoke may suffer from joint pain.

When to see a doctor?

If you suffer any of the following symptoms, as mentioned in the blog, consult your physician or an orthopaedic expert for immediate treatment.


Joint discomfort frequently results from injury caused by ordinary wear and tear. You should consult a physician if you experience any inexplicable joint discomfort, especially if it persists after a few days. This discomfort may be effectively treated with early discovery and diagnosis of joint pain.


What is the most common reason for joint pain?

The main cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis develops over time when the cartilage, a cushion between the bones, breaks down. Osteoarthritis usually appears in middle age and progresses slowly.

How can I relieve joint pain?

Pain and inflammation caused in the joints can be reduced by putting ice packs on aching muscles. Also, a temporary massage on the pain area may help with pain and stiffness.

When should I worry about joint pain?

Joint pain is expected when you age, and there is no need to worry. However, consult a doctor if you spot any inflammation, gout or the onset or flare-up of a chronic joint problem.

What helps joint pain the most?

Over the Counter (OTC) medication may help to treat joint pain. OTC medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can help to resolve the pain caused in the joints.

What should I avoid if I have joint pain?

If you have joint pain, it is recommended to avoid foods and drinks that are highly processed—for example, red meat and beverages with added sugars.

How to keep your joints healthy?

1. Exercise regularly
2. Build muscle strength
3. Strengthen your core
4. Prevent exercise-related injury
5. Lose extra weight


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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