As we age, aches and pain seem to be part of who we are. Joint pain becomes part of our day-to-day life and so we don’t think too much about it. We may attribute joint pain to our active past in our youth or simply to the fact that we are getting older.
But oftentimes joint pain has nothing to do with our exercise level and age and more to do with alternative factors.
In fact, joint pain can actually be your body’s way of telling you something just isn’t quite right. So before you dismiss your joint pain, consider some of these illnesses associated with joint pain that your body is warning you about.
What your joint pain is a sign of
Medication side effect: Medications are prescribed as a means to treat a pre-existing illness. But sometimes it can result in some nasty side effects, including joint pain. Certain antibiotics, like penicillin, can add fuel to the fire causing your joint pain to worsen.
If your joint pain is followed by red rashes on the skin, stomach troubles and red eyes, you can be experiencing side effects to medication. Speak with your doctor right away for a change of treatment.
Bone cancer: Although the chances are low – the American Cancer Association estimates 2,970 new bone cancer cases in 2015 – joint pain can still be a symptom of bone cancer. Depending on how long you’ve been experiencing the pain and if swelling has accompanied the pain, it’s still worth getting checked out.
Because the symptoms of bone cancer are similar to that of arthritis getting a medical opinion can rule out its severity.
Hypothyroidism: Women in their 60s are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition with the thyroid where the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. In its early stages, symptoms are minimal but over time obesity, joint pain and heart disease can all occur.
There are many tests available to detect hypothyroidism so you don’t need to worry much about being left in the dark. If you do fall into some of the risk factors of hypothyroidism – female, over 60, family history – then you should get yourself checked out and catch it in its early stages.
Bursitis: Highly painful, bursitis affects the areas that cushion the bones. The bursae – the cushions to the bones – become inflamed, causing pain. Any joint in the body can be affected by bursitis, especially those that complete repetitive motions like the shoulders or elbows.
Bursitis most commonly occurs with age and if you perform repetitive motions. Bursitis can also be linked with other joint illnesses like gout and arthritis and those with diabetes may experience it as well.
Don’t dismiss your joint pain
These are only some of the illnesses linked with joint pain but the spectrum is quite large. Other illnesses of which joint pain is a symptom include: Lyme disease, sarcoidosis, lupus, and fibromyalgia and sprains.
Joint pain can hinder your ability to function, but knowing what’s causing your joint pain can put you on the right track to recovery. Always pay attention to your pain: Where is it? How long is it lasting? What offers relief? These are all vital questions you should be asking yourself to get to the bottom of it. If your joint pain is quite persistent, though, and you’ve tried many natural and medicinal remedies, seeking out medical advice is your best bet. You don’t have to live in pain, so why not work on stopping it?
For starters, let me assure you, there can be life after joint pains. And I’m talking real, active, fun-filled life. The thing is, for most people joint pains lick the joints but bite the head. Really! I’m not joking. Once it gets into their heads that they are developing joint pains, people start thinking negatively. They believe this is a normal part of aging, and withdraw into a shell. They recede from their active life and start living a more sedentary lifestyle.
Our joints are an important part of living. They allow us to walk and run, hold and toss objects, and enjoy all of our favorite activities. But when they start to hurt, they can take the joy out of life.