Five Common Types of Joint Pain With Treatment Options

by AZ Pain Doctors, on Jun 16, 2022 10:10:00 AM

If you experience severe joint pain, you're not alone. Approximately 15 million people here in the U.S. are trying to manage painful joints. Roughly half of them report joint pain as persistent — meaning they have pain all or most days over three months.

Are you concerned about your pain but aren't sure how to manage it?

The secret to dealing with painful joints is troubleshooting the cause. Once your doctor figures that out, they can offer help.

We've put together a quick guide to five of the most common types of joint pain. In this article, you'll also find helpful information about treatment options. Take a minute and learn more about how you can manage this common health condition. 

1. Finger Joint Pain

Whether a person develops pain in their fingers all of a sudden, or it happens gradually, it can be a life-altering situation.

We depend on nimble fingers for just about every one of the daily tasks we ask our hands to perform. Anything that requires grasping, such as writing, opening doors, preparing meals, and even daily hygiene, relies on healthy finger joints.

If you have pain in your fingers, the first thing you'll need to do is work with your doctor to figure out the source of the pain.

Arthritis of the hand is the primary cause of pain in the fingers. Three common types of arthritis affect your hands:

Degenerative arthritis, a.k.a., osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It's also called wear and tear arthritis because it causes the breakdown of cartilage. Once cartilage wears away, the ends of your bones no longer have protection, meaning they rub together. 

The result is stiffness, loss of movement, and, of course, pain. If you have joint pain in the base of your thumb, middle, and top joints of your fingers, you could have osteoarthritis. 

Finger joint pain is also one of the classic first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Psoriatic arthritis only affects people with a diagnosis of psoriasis.

2. What Causes Painful Toe Joints?

Unless you've injured your toe, you can probably blame big toe joint pain on one of the same conditions that cause pain in finger joints. Osteoarthritis and RA both cause pain in the toes.

Another culprit in toe joint pain is gout. Gout causes pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness, primarily in the big toe. It can also affect the other toes.

If you broke or sprained a toe in the past, you may develop arthritis later in life.

3. Pain in Your Thumb Joint

When you feel pain in your thumb, a few things could be the cause.

Have you broken your thumb? Maybe you stretched or damaged one of the ligaments in your thumb. Injury or overuse are both common reasons for pain in the thumb joint. 

It's also possible you have arthritis in the thumb. 

Consider your lifestyle. Do you type a lot or participate in a hobby that requires you to use your thumbs (gaming, crafts)? All of these activities can lead to thumb joint pain.

People who are significantly overweight can also develop thumb arthritis. Often people with diabetes deal with pain in this area as well. Both conditions can cause the body to experience low-grade inflammation — yet another cause of arthritis in the thumb.

4. Hip Joint Pain

Feeling pain in the hip area can mean life comes to a halt until the pain resides. Hip joint pain often makes any kind of movement difficult, including walking and even sitting.

Weekend warriors often experience hip pain. Inflammation or straining of the tendons in the hip area causes the pain and typically goes away within a few days.

When the pain doesn't reside, you may have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Hip Bursitis

Hip joint pain that doesn't go away on its own with home treatment (NSAIDs, cold, or heat therapy) should never be ignored, especially if you're an older adult. What you feel as hip pain could result from a hip fracture, which needs immediate medical attention.

5. Your Achy Knee Joints

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) claim that 37 percent of adults experience knee, foot, or hip pain. If you deal with knee pain on any level, you know how frustrating it can be to try and live with it.

Knee pain doesn't discriminate. People of all ages lose time from work and play because of the most common cause of achy knees — arthritis. Injury can also cause excruciating knee joint pain.

Unless you've taken a recent human anatomy course, you may not realize what's going on in your knee area. 

Three bones connect to form the knee joint:

  • Thighbone (femur).
  • Shinbone (tibia).
  • Kneecap (patella).

Cartilage covers each bone to prevent them from rubbing together. The synovial membrane lubricates the cartilage.

There's no creaking, cracking, knee buckling, or pain when all is well. But once arthritis sets in, you may not be able to walk at all.

Is There Joint Pain Relief Available for You?

There's good news if you suffer from joint pain! It doesn't matter whether it's the joints in your fingers, toes, thumb, knees, big toe, or hip. You can find relief.

Most people start with simple things they can do at home, such as:

  • Ice
  • Rest
  • Heat
  • Exercise
  • Topical treatments
  • Brace or other orthotic devices

When those treatments don't help, visiting your doctor should top your to-do list.

A pain management doctor has a wide range of options to help people experiencing joint pain. Your personalized treatment could include:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Cortisone injections
  • Steroid injections

It would be best if you look for a doctor who can offer these and other research-proven treatments to help manage your chronic joint pain.

We Have the Solutions for Your Painful Joints

Whether one of the several types of arthritis or a recent injury has resulted in joint pain, you don't need to suffer in silence. The first step is getting a diagnosis so that you can benefit from the treatment options best suited for your condition.

The next step is working with your pain management doctor on a treatment program targeted toward getting you back to a place where you can enjoy life again without severe pain.

The care team at AZ Pain Doctors understands pain and is on a mission to help you improve your quality of life. Contact us today and schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Topics:joint pain