Photo by Kindel Media from PexelsJoints help people move and provide support; they form connections between the bones. Any damage to these joints from injury or disease can interfere with the individual’s movement and cause too much pain. Many conditions lead to joint pain, including rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Knee pain is the most frequent joint pain issue, closely followed by pin in the shoulders hips. Pain in the joints can affect any part of the body, from the feet and ankles to hands and shoulders, and as one gets older, painful joints become more common. In some cases, joint pain can be mild or debilitating; it can be acute and last a few weeks or chronic, lasting several months. Even acute pain can impact an individual’s quality of life and whatever cause of the pain, and one can manage it with physical therapy, medication, and alternative treatments.
Physical Impact of Joint Pain
People with pain in the knee will tend to favor one side over the other in an attempt to reduce the pain; those with hip pain will lie on one side to control the pain. Some individuals may complain of joint instability and be prone to falling due to lack of confidence, aging, pain, medication, and joint changes. Although joint disorders can be unbearable, treatments such as pain relief balm can successfully relieve the pain and symptoms. Almost half of the people with joint pain symptoms require supportive aids such as frames, walking sticks, and support garments; however, it is advisable for people who use walking aids to get instruction from physiotherapists to avoid falls. Many people with joint pain problems have a challenge going up and down the stairs; they usually have a limited range of movement in the joints, affecting their mobility outside. Activities made more difficult by joint pain include house cleaning, shopping, odd jobs, sports, gardening, and meal preparation. Individuals with painful complaints have a high level of sleep disruption. Poor sleep leads to increased pain levels and increases distress. Quality of sleep is a critical part of joint pain management due to its effect on coping.
Social Impact of Joint Pain
People with joint pain experience never-ending pain, depression, painful exacerbations, and joint instability; therefore, they cannot get regular employment. Work that involves kneeling, driving, carrying loads, and manual labor is tough to sustain for these individuals. These jobs are associated with lousy pay and increased exposure to financial hardship, leading to stress and loss of social esteem fulfilled by work. Due to the unpredictable pain and disability, social isolation is likely to cause particular problems for some persons with joint pain. Some individuals may experience social stress and difficulty maintaining relationships, especially pessimists. They are also more likely to perform badly in rehabilitation and have a greater pain prevalence. Joint pain problems can lead to intimacy problems in the patients; this loss of intimacy can affect the quality of life, sense of self, and communication.
Psychological Impact of Joint Pain
Most people who have joint pains suffer from anxiety and depression that are made worse by the lack of self-efficacy and the tendency to highlight the negative experiences. Depression causes the patients to have an increase in disability and pain perception. Some individuals experience suicidal thoughts due to this depression. The lack of self-efficacy in these patients causes them to feel incapable of engaging in any physical activity, and they tend to worry and retreat socially. Pain makes anxiety more likely. It is even believed to contribute to increased discomfort more than depression; anxiety reduces the quality of life in these patients before and after surgery. Joint pain is exhausting in addition to the pain; the fatigue and inflammation that come with it can drag the individual further down. If the individual has another underlying condition like heart problems or diabetes, their active life disappears. These health problems can cause them not to exercise, become more isolated and less social, and have problems sleeping. These adverse changes in a person’s life can increase the pain and dampen their general mood. They may eventually lead to anxiety and depression. Even though the causes of depression in people with joint pains may differ, the link is factual and potentially changes the individual’s life. The treatment of joint pain does not focus on the physical but involves managing the individual’s depression and anxiety to live a whole life. Someone should see a doctor if they have unexplained pain in the joints, especially if it does not go away after a couple of days. Early diagnosis allows for effective treatment of the actual cause of the discomfort.