If you are having joint pain and stiffness, it is likely you have swollen joints. Swollen joints can happen when there is an increased of fluid in the tissues that surround the joints, this can cause the joints to appear larger or to become abnormally shaped.
Joint swelling tends to occur along with joint pain. The following symptoms can be observed from your swollen joints:
- Deep, aching pain
- The joint may feel warm to touch
- Inability to move normally
The causes for joint swelling could be attributed to the following:
- After an injury – the swelling of the joint may mean your bone is broken or you are having a tear in the muscle tendon or ligament.
- Joint infection – this usually occurs after a previous infection caused by the bacterial, viral or fungal infection in the tissue and fluid of a joint. The joints in the knee, hip, shoulder, ankle and wrists are most commonly affected. Joint infection can cause swelling, pain and fever.
- Arthritis health condition – many different types of arthritis can cause swelling, redness or warmth around the joint. Among the common types of arthritis that caused swollen joint included osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis.
Not all the swollen joints are treated the same way. For instance, when your swollen joints happened after an injury, you may apply ice packs to reduce the pain and swelling. You may also raise the swollen joint to a level higher than your heart, let’s say your ankle is swollen, you can lay down with pillows placed underneath your foot to make your ankle and leg slightly raised.
Other methods to treat swollen joints may include one or more of the following:
- Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to treat swollen joints with OA.
- Oral steroid medication is effective to block the production of inflammatory chemicals in our body to reduce painful and swollen joints.
- Injecting anti-inflammatory drug such as steroid into the joint for temporary relief of joint swelling and pain.
- Antibiotics to stop swollen joints and pain from infection.
- Newer type of drugs such as those disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that work to affect the immune system.