Joint inflammation: Causes, treatment, and symptoms – Medical News Today

February 14th, 2021 7:03 pm

Joint inflammation can lead to swollen, painful joints. Depending on the cause, it can affect one particular joint or be more widespread, affecting multiple joints throughout the body.

Inflammation is the bodys normal immune response to an injury, infection, or irritant. Allergies, wounds, and diseases can all cause inflammation. The most common causes of joint inflammation are injuries and inflammatory arthritis.

Pain and inflammation resulting from injuries usually resolve, but inflammatory arthritis is a chronic condition that may get worse with time. Keep reading to learn more.

Joint inflammation occurs when the immune system or damaged tissue releases chemicals that cause swelling and other symptoms in a joint. It can affect just one joint, such as when a person sustains an injury. However, certain medical conditions can lead to multiple instances of joint inflammation throughout the body.

When a joint is inflamed, the blood vessels around it dilate to allow more blood to reach it. White blood cells, which play a crucial role in the bodys immune response, rush to the inflamed site, where they work to fight any infection or irritant.

This response leads to inflammation in this area. The joint may feel hot or painful, and the inflammation may intensify the pain of an underlying injury or infection.

In the short term, inflammation helps the body fight off dangerous invaders. However, chronic inflammation can damage the joint.

The most common causes of joint inflammation are:

An injury to a joint usually causes localized inflammation. However, it can sometimes cause inflammation in several joints if they are very close together. For example, if a person injures their foot, they might have joint inflammation in several toes.

Swelling is the bodys natural response to an injury. Inflammation helps the body deliver nutrients and white blood cells to an injured joint to fight off infection and promote healing.

However, inflammation is painful, and intense swelling may actually slow healing. Anyone who experiences inflammation that is serious enough to interfere with everyday functioning should see a doctor.

Arthritis is a group of conditions that affect joint health. Inflammatory forms of arthritis cause inflammation in the joints. Most types of inflammatory arthritis are chronic, progressive conditions. They may begin in one joint but eventually progress to other joints.

Some examples of inflammatory arthritis include:

Many types of inflammatory arthritis are autoimmune diseases, which means that they appear when the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

However, some infections can also cause inflammatory arthritis. Septic arthritis happens when a joint becomes infected. Sometimes, an infection in another area of the body travels through the bloodstream to a joint.

This type of inflammation is not chronic and usually gets better with treatment. Without quick treatment, though, there is a risk of permanent damage to the joints and bones.

Learn more about inflammatory arthritis here.

Some symptoms of joint inflammation include:

When the symptoms appear following an injury, inflammation is usually just a short-term response to the injury.

People who notice ongoing inflammation or pain may have arthritis. Joint pain that occurs with a fever or following an infection may signal a joint infection that requires immediate medical treatment.

The right treatment for inflammation depends on the cause. Some minor injuries will improve on their own with rest and time. More serious injuries may require medical treatment or even surgery.

People with a bacterial infection often need antibiotics. In severe cases, they may need to stay in the hospital.

For serious injuries and chronic inflammation, these medical treatments may help:

Several home remedies can help with most types of inflammation, regardless of the cause:

A person should contact a doctor or healthcare provider if:

It is necessary to go to the emergency room or call 911 if:

Inflammation comes in many forms, and it can affect a single joint or many joints throughout the body.

Short-term joint inflammation from an injury usually goes away on its own.

While chronic inflammation can be difficult to treat and may get worse with time, various medications can help. A person can contact a doctor for help managing all forms of inflammation.

Originally posted here:
Joint inflammation: Causes, treatment, and symptoms - Medical News Today

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