Joint Pain 101


Joints form the connections between your bones; they provide support and allow you to move. Injuries and diseases can damage your joints, causing pain and interfering with mobility. Anyone can develop joint pain, but it is common among older adults; the pain can range anywhere from mild to debilitating. Sometimes joint pain improves with treatments such as medications, topical agents, and steroid injections. Still, you may need orthopedic surgery Clifton, NJ, to alleviate the pain and improve function.

What causes joint pain?

Joint pain may result from an injury or different medical conditions. Examples of the common causes of chronic pain in your joints include

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body’s defense system attacks healthy cells by mistake, causing inflammation or painful swelling in the affected areas. Usually, rheumatoid arthritis attacks many joints at once, but it is common in the knees, wrists, and hands. Besides damaging joint tissue, RA can also cause problems in other organs such as your lungs, eyes, and heart. Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience pain, stiffness, and swelling in one or more joints, fatigue, weakness, and weight loss. There are episodes when the symptoms worsen (flare-ups) and when they subside (or get better (remission).


Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis affecting millions of people globally; it occurs when the protective joint cartilage wears out over time. It is also common among older people and mainly affects the joints in your knees, hips, spine, and hands. The affected joints can be painful, stiff, and produce a popping or crackling sound when in use. Osteoarthritis symptoms such as pain can be managed with medications, but joint damage is irreversible. Healthcare providers recommend maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and getting treatment to slow disease progression and improve life quality.


Bursitis is the inflammation of the tiny fluid-filled sacs that cushion your tendons, bones, and muscles near your joints. It commonly affects your elbows, shoulders, and hip, but bursitis can also occur in your heels, knees, and the base of your big toe. The most common cause of bursitis is repetitive motion or pressure that exerts pressure on the bursae around the joints. For example, people with occupations involving extensive kneeling are more likely to develop bursitis. You can reduce your risk of bursitis by exercising, lifting correctly, wheeling heavy loads, and kneeling pads.


Gout is a common but complex form of arthritis that occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joint, causing inflammation and intense pain. Gout attacks occur suddenly and cause pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the affected joints, most often the big toe. Although gout can affect anyone, it is most likely to develop in people with high uric acid levels. Some factors that increase uric acid levels in your body include:

  • Weight. You produce more uric acid when you are overweight; your kidneys may have difficulty eliminating the acid.
  • Diet. Consuming red meat and sweetened beverages increase the risk of gout.
  • Family history of gout.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes and untreated high blood pressure make you susceptible to gout.

If you need treatment for joint pain, visit your doctor today at Garden State Pain & Orthopedic.


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