Arthralgia - what is it? Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment
Nature has endowed man with the ability to feel pain. This protects it from excessive damage. The discomfort as if warns - carefully, danger! Joint pain is called arthralgia. Unfortunately, many modern residents are well aware of what it is. Indeed, in one or another manifestation, 5 out of 6 people over 35 years old face joint pain.
So arthralgia - what is it? This name has received joint pain. It can occur with various ailments:
- acute infectious.
To assume, as most people believe, that arthralgia of the joints is necessarily caused by arthritis, is extremely erroneous. Especially if such patients self-medicate.In addition, tens of arthritis are known. And not all of them cause pain.
According to its appearance, discomfort can be:
- long or short-term;
- intense or weak;
- common or local.
But any of them significantly affects the quality of life. And in some cases leads to disability.
Joint pain provokes irritation of the nerve endings. Sources of an unpleasant process can be salt crystals, allergens, toxins, osteophytes, and many other components. Regardless of the cause, the patient has articular pain, or arthralgia. What is it - a disease or painful symptoms? Often, pathology becomes a precursor or sign of a serious illness. But sometimes it is an independent illness.
That is why it is recommended for joint pains of any intensity, if they are long enough, be sure to be examined in the clinic.
Causes of joint pain
Arthralgia syndrome often results from the following ailments:
- Arthritis- reactive, rheumatoid, psoariatic, gouty, osteoarthritis, septic.
- Bursitis- traumatic, brucellosis, diathesis, tuberculosis, syphilitic, gonorrheal.
- Children's pathologies - Kawasaki syndrome, Still's disease.
- Systemic ailments - systemic scleroderma, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic vasculitis, sarcoidosis, Crohn's disease, lupus erythematosus, influenza, Shegren's disease, recurrent polychondritis, Sharpe syndrome, Lyme disease, diffuse fasciitis.
- Tumor pathologies - osteomyelitis, lymphoblastic leukemia, myeloma, bone metastases.
Such an extensive list illustrates how diverse the causes of arthralgia are. Therefore, a patient suffering from intense or prolonged joint pain must undergo a full examination.
Classification of pathology
What symptoms arthralgia provokes depends on the number of injured joints. For this classification uses a number of terms:
- Monoarthralgia. This pathology damages one joint.
- Oligoarthralgia. The patient has simultaneous or consistent pain in several joints.
- Polyarthralgia. 5 or more joints are affected.
The main clinical sign is joint pain. The discomfort can be constant or occur periodically, be blunt or sharp, differ in strong or weak intensity.
In addition, the following symptoms often cause arthralgia in patients:
- joint edema;
- reddening of the skin of the periarticular zone;
- the emergence of ossalgia - aches;
- elevated temperature in the periarticular region;
- muscle pain - myalgia (arthralgia, triggered by an infectious disease, at the peak of the disease causes similar symptoms).
At the same time, the main signs signaling dysfunction of the joint, as a rule, are absent. Palpation does not cause pain discomfort. No deformation is observed.
Pathology of the knee joint
The greatest risk is caused by large joints - hip, shoulder, knee and elbow. Not protected from the pathology and other joints. They may also be damaged.
Knee arthralgia can cause certain symptoms:
- deformity of the articulation (such a sign is observed with a prolonged course of the disease);
- pain syndrome;
- reduced mobility of the knee.
Unfortunately, severe pain can be observed not only in the above joints. Often arthralgia occurs in the lumbar spine. Symptoms may indicate this pathology:
- strong pain;
- fever (sometimes);
- swelling in the affected area;
- feeling of stiffness of the spine.
Diagnosis of pathology
Arthralgia needs to be properly treated. Patients experiencing recurring discomfort or long enough should consult a doctor. Ignoring such a signal leads to the development of various pathologies and diseases of the joints.
Do not forget that in most cases, this manifestation is a symptom of developing ailments. Only a doctor will be able to correctly diagnose the disease. Arthralgia, its symptoms are closely related to the sources of pathology.
Initially, the doctor will clarify all related diseases details relating to:
- localization of discomfort;
- depths of pain;
- the number of troublesome joints;
- intensity of discomfort;
- the nature of the pain;
- duration of the syndrome;
- daily rhythm;
- communication discomfort with certain types of movement.
The diagnosis does not end there. Patients may be assigned:
- Blood biochemistry. An increased number of white blood cells will indicate an ongoing inflammatory process.
- Test for viruses, infections.
- Ultrasound of the joints. This examination, like X-ray, reveals a physical change in the joints. These procedures can be carried out during treatment again to assess the effectiveness of the prescribed funds.
- Arthroscopy Research is rare. Sometimes it is necessary to conduct a biopsy of some joint tissue.
- Puncture of joint fluid. This is an important survey. In each pathology, the synovial fluid has certain immunobiochemical and histochemical properties. This study allows you to diagnose more accurately the pathology. The presence of blood in the puncture suggests that arthralgia is caused by injury or trauma.
- Tomography, myelography. Needed to diagnose vertebrae. Relevant examination before surgery.
Pathology in children
Modern children are almost not addicted to dynamic games. Their leisure is often limited to watching TV or playing on the computer. This unhealthy trend, supported by poor ecology, leads to a weakened immunity. Serious pathologies begin to develop, of which arthralgia is quite often observed in children.
It is extremely dangerous to leave a child’s complaints about pain without attention. You should be aware that arthralgia of the knee joint, which did not receive timely treatment, leads to deformity. In the future, joint mobility is significantly limited.
The main causes of pathology in children
As a rule, arthralgia in children occurs with the following factors:
- Acute infections.With the disease intoxication occurs. Against this background, reactive arthralgia develops. It accompanies the disease to the complete elimination of toxins.
- Physical exercise.Children involved in sports may overload your body. Sometimes they get injured. Chronic pathology often becomes a start for the development of arthralgia. This pathology can occur even in those kids who have little to do with sports.Pulling up on the crossbar, sharp weight lifting sometimes causes pain discomfort in the elbow or shoulder joint.
- Intensive growth.The child grows very fast from 4 to 14 years. Joints and the spine are sometimes deficient in calcium. These children also have pain. Particularly acute, it is felt at night.
It is important not to start self-treatment without a thorough examination. The most effective scheme of dealing with the disease will offer a doctor. After all, arising arthralgia often signals a serious disease.
Treatment involves taking the following medications:
- Painkillers.Recommended to receive funds: "Analgin".
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.They are also prescribed to eliminate pain. Effective drugs are: Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Ketorolac, Indomethacin, Naproxen. These funds can be administered in tablet form. Actually their use in the form of ointments for local treatment. Effective and other means. Sometimes it is recommended to use the following ointments: "Finalgon", "Fastum-gel", "Turpentine".
- Antioxidants.Their action is aimed at restoring the blood supply.As a result of this process, the nutrition of the intraarticular cartilage and the articulation itself is improved. In addition, stagnation is eliminated. One effective drug is Dihydroquercetin Plus.
- Chondroprotectors. Medications stimulate regenerative processes in cartilage. They can slow down the destruction of the latter. Glucosamine sulfate or Chondroitin sulfate preparations are quite effective. Useful tool "Dandelion P" - plant chondroprotector.
- Vitamins. To restore the disturbed mineral metabolism, which is often the basis for the development of arthrosis, the medicine Osteo-Vit can be prescribed.
- Soothing medication.Since arthralgia often causes sleep disturbances, medicines based on motherwort and valerian are included in the course of treatment.
Such therapy is effective if arthralgia of the knee joint or other articulation is provoked by arthritis. If flu, acute respiratory viral infections, brucellosis, tuberculosis, syphilis have become the source of pathology, then another scheme is prescribed, which includes antibiotics and antiviral agents.
Treatment of children is based on analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and warming ointments. Useful to kids applicators with "Dimeksidom." In acute forms of arthralgia, the doctor may prescribe NSAIDs.
Effective with the pathology physiotherapeutic methods. Preference is given to electrophoresis with Novocain.
And even if you think you know well what is dangerous with arthralgia, what it is, do not engage in self-diagnosis and do not rush to treat yourself. Entrust your health professionals.