By Dr. Ebi Ofrey (Cofounder/CEO GeroCare)
It can be difficult to differentiate between different types of joint pain and stiffness, especially as many of them have similar symptoms. However, there are some key differences between the most common causes:
- Osteoarthritis:This type of arthritis is characterized by pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the joint. It is most commonly found in the hips, knees, and fingers. It usually develops gradually over time and is often worse after prolonged periods of inactivity.
- Rheumatoid arthritis:This autoimmune disorder can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in multiple joints. It is symmetrical, meaning it affects the same joints on both sides of the body. It also causes fatigue, fever, and weight loss.
- Gout:This type of arthritis is characterized by sudden and severe pain, redness, and swelling in the affected joint. It often affects the big toe but it can also affect other joints.
- Bursitis:This is characterized by pain and stiffness in the joint, especially when moving. It is caused by inflammation of the small fluid-filled sacs called bursa that cushion the joints. It often affects the shoulders, hips, and elbows.
- Tendinitis:This is characterized by pain and stiffness around the joint, especially when moving. It is caused by inflammation of the tendons, which are the fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones. It often affects the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
- Injuries:Joint pain and stiffness caused by injuries, such as sprains or tears, is usually sudden and often accompanied by swelling and bruising.
- Overuse: Joint pain and stiffness caused by overuse is usually characterized by pain and stiffness in the joint that is worst when the joint is being used, such as typing on a computer for a long time.
It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have joint pain and stiffness. They will be able to help you determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.