Swollen joints is a condition commonly associated with arthritis but can also occur due to a joint infection or an injury.
A joint is a part of the body where two different bones make contact with each other. Swollen joints is a condition that commonly occurs in the hands, feet, knees, and the ankles. Pain while walking or standing, redness and stiffness in the joints, are some of the most common symptoms of swollen joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system invades the tissues of the joints. A person affected with rheumatoid arthritis commonly experiences stiffness in the joints early in the morning. The joints located in the hands and the feet are most susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis and the condition may last for several weeks. Although the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis is not dependent on age, generally people in the age group of 20-40 years, develop this disease.
The wear and tear of the joints on a daily basis can eventually cause osteoarthritis in which the cartilage of the bone is destroyed. The cartilage is nothing but a tough elastic tissue that is seen covering the ends of the bones. As cartilage starts declining with age, it causes friction between bones, which eventually causes swelling and pain in the joints. People who have crossed 65 years of age, are at increased risk of getting osteoarthritis.
A joint infection caused by the bacteria can also damage the joint. Bacterial joint infection, also known as septic arthritis can bring joint deformities if treatment is neglected. To diagnose a joint infection, a sample of fluid in the joint is collected using a syringe. The fluid is then examined under a microscope to detect any bacterial infection.
Injuries from a trauma or an accident that causes a severe wound on the upper layer of the skin may penetrate and affect the joint, which may also lead to inflammation. The knee joints are most vulnerable to injuries during any sports activity and hence one should wear protective gear that covers the joints, when participating in any sports event.
Joint inflammation is treated depending upon the underlying condition. In case of rheumatoid arthritis, painkillers as well as corticosteroid medications like prednisone are prescribed to subside the pain and prevent further damage to the joints.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.