Can you imagine not being able to fully use your body’s joints like those in your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, and knees? You will be a totally different person from who you are now – physically active, vibrant, and always on the go. Injuries to your joints will restrict your activities, slow you down or stop you completely on your tracks. Your life will never be the same again.
Causes of Joint Injuries
What are the common causes of injuries to the joints?
- Accidents from running, climbing, playing games or sports activities
- Disease and conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fracture
- Overuse of joints
- Repetitive activity or task that causes stress to the joints
- Weak joint muscles
- Too much body weight
- Degeneration due to aging
Types of Joint Injuries
The presence of the causes identified above will make your joints more susceptible to injuries such as:
- Arthritis of the hand and elbow – This condition is often the result of osteoarthritis. It affects the fingers, especially.
- Arthritis of the thumb – This is a form of osteoarthritis affecting the joint of the thumb.
- Bursitis – This is the inflammation of the bursa in a synovial joint. Bursa contains the synovial fluid.
- Carpal instability – The broad range of movement and frequent use combined with weak muscular attachment between the wrist bones cause the unstable environment in the wrist.
- Wrist synovitis – This is the inflammation of the synovial membrane that lines the joints in the wrist. Wrist synovitis is the result of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Distal radial ulnar joint injury – This is a stress to the distal radial ulnar joint that results from a fracture or an activity.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Joint Injuries
The treatment options for injured joints may be conservative or surgical. But before any treatment is prescribed, the doctor will perform a physical examination and range of motion tests to assess the patient’s pain level and look for any evidence of deformity. X-ray test for the joints follow. This will determine the loss of joint space, if any, and distinguish whether the patient has osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Additional imaging studies like magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and bone density test are used not only to assess the bone condition but the overall condition of the joint and the surrounding areas. In addition, blood test is done to check for infection or arthritis.
Prevention of Joint Degeneration
Preventing the unnecessary degeneration of your joints is something you can influence and do something about.
- Seek proper treatment of joint injuries. This can prevent the onset of arthritis as well as other degenerative conditions in the injured joint.
- Use the proper techniques involving the use of the joints in working, playing and performing tasks. They can prevent unnecessary injuries that could result to degenerative conditions.
- Avoid repetitive tasks or activities that tend to cause stress and inflammation to the joints.
- Maintain the right body weight for your frame to avoid undue stress to your weight-bearing joints.
- Always have a nutritious diet that will promote the health of your bones, joints, and muscles.
Love your joints. Proper care of your joints will prevent joint injuries that will stop you from your normal active and dynamic lifestyle.