Surprising Causes of Joint Pain

Over 50 million people in the U.S. experience chronic joint pain in their lifetime and that number is on the rise. And while arthritis is the leading cause that frequently leads to disability, many other conditions can bring pain to your joints and interfere with your daily life and well-being. 

Our team of experts at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, combines their considerable experience with cutting edge technology to diagnose and treat joint conditions. Read on to learn about several joint pain causes that may surprise you.

Heart attack or heart disease

Chest pain is far from the only potential symptom of a heart attack. In some cases, the cardiovascular event triggers shoulder pain as a result of the brain getting too little oxygen. In addition, when you have an autoimmune disease that affects your joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis, related inflammation may raise your risk for heart disease. So it’s possible that your symptoms involve joint problems as well as heart-related issues.

Stress fractures

Stress fractures commonly affect athletes, but you don’t have to be athletic to develop one. The partial fractures can cause joint pain near weight-bearing bones, such as those in your feet, gradually leading to swelling, pain, and tenderness. These symptoms tend to feel worse at the beginning of an exercise session. If you notice signs of a stress fracture, don’t wait to seek medical care. Left unaddressed, stress fractures can lead to full fractures.

Carpal tunnel

Carpal tunnel is probably best known for causing shooting pain along the median nerve, which runs down your arms and into your hand. But sometimes the pain centers in the wrist, bringing significant pain to the joints there. In fact, symptoms first appear as an aching wrist. Other symptoms may include tingling, numbness, difficulty gripping things, and a sensation of swelling, without actual swelling.

Poor posture

If you slouch or lean over a desk for lengthy amounts of time, there’s a good chance you’ll experience pain and stiffness in your shoulders or neck. Ignoring these symptoms or failing to improve your posture can lead to joint damage over time. When you sit at a desk, position your arms and shoulders at a 90-degree angle, keeping your monitor at eye level. Most people look down at their computer instead. Failing to take a break to stand, walk, or stretch, can also cause lasting or recurrent joint pain.

Thankfully, most joint pain conditions are treatable. To learn more about your symptoms, get a proper diagnosis, or start treatment, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website.

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