What is Arthralgia?
Arthralgia often referred to as Joint Pain, is the inflammation in the joint, and often leads to painful sensations. This greek word translates to Anthro – Joint and Algos – pain.
Arthralgia is often associated with arthritis but it is important to know that although both concern the paint in the joints, they are different. While Arthralgia refers to the pain in the joints, arthritis refers to the pain of the joints.
The Arthralgia symptoms vary from individual to individual depending upon their age, health conditions, etc. While Arthralgia often occurs in middle-aged or older people, different age groups will be affected in different manners. Some of the common symptoms across different types and different ages have been listed for your understanding:
- Joint pain
- Joint muscle stiffness
- Difficulty in movements
- Intense pain in the bones or muscles surrounding the joint
Who is at Risk?
Arthralgia risk factors differ from individual to individual as age and health conditions have a role to play. Certain red flags for when an individual might be at risk are:
- Anyone with a recent joint injury
- Anyone with a history of injury around joints
- Anyone who is obese or excessive body weight that can put pressure on joints
- Anyone with Osteoarthritis, a condition where the joint bones scrape each other when the cartilage in the joints wears away completely
- Rheumatoid arthritis, a condition where the immune system wears away the membranes around joints leading to pain and inflammation
Arthralgia causes can depend on age, past injury, or a variety of individual health factors. However, we have discussed some possible causes for you down below:
- The strain on the joints or muscles around
- Severe injury
- Joint dislocation
- Bone cancer
How is Arthralgia diagnosed?
Not all paint requires immediate attention. Sometimes what we construe as a regular physical activity pain can be Arthralgia or Arthritis. But the diagnosis of it becomes possible only when one experiences extreme pain, redness, or excessive tenderness in the muscles. It is wise to visit the doctor for even mild pains experienced in the joints. For Arthralgia diagnosis, doctors perform physical exams and certain tests to know the cause and effect.
- Physical examination – The doctor can physically diagnose the pain area and establish cause and effect relation to understand if Arthralgia is because of an injury, lifestyle disease, or other concerns.
- Blood Tests – Here the C-reactive protein levels are checked to find the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR/SED rate)
- Biopsy – A test of the muscle around the joint is done to diagnose the problem
- Lab Tests – Certain tests like antibody tests, joint fluid tests, RF latex test, etc are done to diagnose the probable injuries and conditions of Arthralgia
How is Arthralgia treated?
Arthralgia treatment is done based on the underlying causes and the severity of the pain. Once diagnosed, doctors recommend getting the treatment at the earliest to save the pain from getting severe.
- Medicine – Over-the-counter medications are prescribed by the doctor to wear off the pain if it is a mild case
- Disease-modifying drugs – Usually Arthralgia and arthritis are related, and so doctors prescribe antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or biologic drugs for the cure
- Surgery – When the medicinal treatments aren’t giving relief, and the case is severe, doctors advise for joint replacement or reconstruction surgery
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How can Arthralgia be prevented?
Arthralgia prevention can be done in a few simple steps. These include:
- Maintain Body Weight – People with obesity or excessive body weight should look to reduce their body weight to the optimum to reduce stress on the joints
- Body Posture and Movements – Lay attention to body postures and movements to be kind and gentle on the muscle and joints and save from possible injuries
- Exercise – Actively indulging into healthy exercise routines for at least 30-45 minutes helps in keeping the muscles and joints strong and agile
- Heal injuries – It is recommended to heal every minor injury or pain that arises in the muscles to save from the adverse complexities
- Joint Muscle Exercises – As one ages, they should practice