At any point in the body where two bones meet, they form a joint. There are many types of joints in the body. They have various types of structures to allow the bones to articulate and have a wide range of movement.
What Makes up a Joint?
Joints are formed with a layer of hyaline cartilage at the end of each bone, and have fluid called synovial fluid within the joint to ease movement. The synovial fluid is secreted by a synovial sac and also nourishes the articular cartilage.
A bursa is a sac near the joint and it serves to cushion and lubricate movement of the surrounding muscles.
Tendons attach muscles to your bone, and ligaments attach the bones together, stabilizing the joint.
The joints of the knee have a piece of cartilage known as a meniscus. The meniscus is shaped to absorb shock and lubricate the major weight bearing portions of the knee.
Why You May Experience Joint Pain:
Joint pain is common and may be caused by arthritis. One example, osteoarthritis affects almost 30 million Americans. This type of arthritis results in breakdown of the cartilage that cushions and absorbs shock within the joints.
Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and results from an autoimmune process in which the body’s immune system produces antibodies that attack the tissues within the joints. It can result in severe pain, chronic inflammation, swelling and eventual destruction of the joint.
Furthermore, other causes of joint pain include infection within the joint, inflammation of the bursa, known as bursitis, gout, trauma, overuse, inflammation of the tendon or tendonitis, and osteoporosis or even cancer. Fibromyalgia, additionally, may cause joint pain, as can lupus or sarcoidosis.
Treating Joint Pain:
Arthritis is a chronic condition that can be managed by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, range of motion exercises, and reduction of body weight. Rheumatoid arthritis, meanwhile, can be treated with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
If your joint pain is severe or of unknown cause, or if it progresses, you should see a specialist to determine your diagnosis and begin a therapeutic program to avoid further damage. Regenerative medicine, such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) may be able to help. Call today to make an appointment for consultation with a pain specialist. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. You can find us at our conveniently located clinics in West Orange, Aberdeen, and Lyndhurst.