What Really Causes Joint Pain?

There are many causes of joint pain, including inflammation due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, infectious arthritis and dozens of other medical conditions.

Synovial Fluid & Healthy Joints

When focusing on joint pain caused by arthritis, a healthy joint is encapsulated in the synovial membrane, and it is filled with both water and synovial fluid.

Synovial fluid is a yolk-like, viscous fluid whose principal role is to reduce friction between the cartilage of the synovial joints during movement.

Also within the joint is cartilage. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber for the bones. When you exercise, the cartilage distributes pressure to help reduce the shock to your bones (See image of a healthy joint below).

Image of a healthy joint with synovial fluid

 

Causes of Joint Pain

Joint pain can be caused by the simple fact that your cartilage is losing its elasticity and subsequently wearing down.

Other causes of joint pain can be due to:

  • Depleting synovial fluid levels
  • Infection
  • Autoimmunity (where your body attacks itself),
  • A combination of these and other factors

These factors come into play most commonly as a result of: injury, glucosamine deficiency, age, and excessive wear-and-tear (such as is seen in athletes).

Joint pain begins when the cartilage breaks down and begins to float in the synovial fluid. Bone spurs can develop, and the cartilage becomes jagged. When this happens pain, stiffness and immobility begins to manifest(See image of a joint with osteoarthritis below).

Osteo_Knee

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis at this time.
Read: Is There a Cure for Arthritis?

 
 

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