5 Most Common Joint Injuries And How To Treat Them

A joint is where two or more bones meet to form a structure that enables motion. Within the joint, other tissues such as ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and synovial fluid play a significant role in fitting the system and facilitating its function. A joint can potentially prevent you from adequately engaging with normal activities when something goes wrong with any of these parts. Consequently, leading to different types of joint injuries mainly depends on the issue’s cause and distinctiveness.

Notably, joint injuries can develop into severe conditions if overlooked when they happen. Therefore, it is critical to understand the most common joint injuries, how they occur, where they occur, and their best treatment options to prevent further issues at the right time. Here are the top five joint injuries to watch out for most.

1. Dislocation
A dislocation is a common joint injury where a structure gets forced out of its normal position. It can happen either at the shoulders, elbows, fingers, ankles, knees, hips, or jaw joint.

The possible causes are a fall, a car accident, or sports. It is a severe painful injury around the points of damage. Besides pain, other typical symptoms are tenderness, bruise, muscle spasms, or swelling, which play a significant part in immobilizing the joint.

Dislocation is an inconveniencing issue, but fortunately, it has a remedy. It requires an immediate response by seeking help from a specialist who can put it back in place, plus enough rest to give it time to heal and function.

In case of a dislocation, look for orthopedic surgeons. They have the equipment and technique to manipulate it back to its absolute position. An expert will also give you suitable recommendations to take care of it for fast and safe recovery.

2. Sprains
Bones at the joints get held in place by rugged, elastic-like bands, called ligaments. A sprain is a joint injury when ligament fibers stretch or tear. Sprains mostly happen at the ankles, but the wrist, knee, and thumb can also experience it.

Typical causes include rolling the joint while running fast or landing hard from a jump which directly or indirectly knocks the joint, overstretching or tearing it. A rapid swell and pain are the immediate signs of a sprained joint. But the more significant the symptoms, the more severe the injury. Therefore, depending on how much your joint gets stretched or torn, you can decide on the treatment to pursue.

Minor sprains can heal from self-treatments, especially when you know what to do. Generally, four steps help to treat strains. First, rest the injured area, but after enough rest, it is crucial to exercise other parts to avoid deconditioning. Next, ice the area. It helps in preventing and reducing swelling. Then, compress and elevate the injured area above your heart for your general cardiovascular conditioning.

However, if you cannot feel your joint, develop redness spreading out, or experience direct pain at the joint, it is a sign that it’s a severe sprain that requires immediate medical action. Overlooking the issues can lead to a prolonged joint problem. In case of a severe sprain, seek help from Orthopedic doctors for physical therapy.

3. Strains
Strains are commonly confused with sprains because they are joint injuries that happen with a stretch and tear of the soft tissues. However, the two are different. Strains occur due to overstretching or tearing muscles or tendons connecting bones to the muscles. The hamstring muscle and the lower back are the main parts a strain affects. The primary causes of strains are athletic activities, exercise, running or jogging, accidents, heavy lifting, sitting or standing in an awkward position.

Signs and symptoms for strains are initially pain and swelling. Mild strains can effectively heal following the same procedure as sprains. You rest, ice, compress and elevate the joint area to improve comfort and manage the signs and symptoms.

However, more severe strains may require surgery to repair damaged or torn tendons or muscles. If you experience difficulty walking or standing without pain, difficulty moving or flexing the joint, or feeling numbness in the area. It’s time for serious medical attention.

Orthopedic doctors are the experts in treating strains, and they use several ways to recover from the injury. Depending on the diagnosis, it could be wearing braces, keeping pressure off the affected body by reducing activities, medications to control pain and inflammation, physical therapy, or surgery.

4. Rotator Cuff Tear
Four muscles and tendons stabilize the shoulder joint to enable lifting and rotation. Joint injury, rotator cuff tear, happens with a rip in the structure that prevents these activities around the shoulder. The injury can be partial or complete. With a partial rotator cuff tear, tendons are incompletely attached to the arm bone, whereas in a complete one, there is a rip in the tendon due to a complete separation from the bone.

Its symptom is usually shoulder pain, mild, or severe, and arm weakness, which can show even in the absence of pain. Although rotator cuff tears affect people of all ages, adults are more prone as the tendons wear down with time. Causes of this joint injury include bone spurs when there is growth development around the born: decreased blood flow, repetitive shoulder movements at work or in activities like sports.

It is dangerous to overlook treatment for this joint injury, as it worsens with time. There are two treatment options, surgery and nonsurgical treatments. While rotator cuff tears can’t heal without surgery, nonsurgical treatments come in handy in managing the problem. The nonsurgical treatment options include Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). An arm sling and rest to adjust for relaxation, physical therapy, or steroids. However, orthopedic surgeons diagnose and recommend suitable treatment to help you recover.

5. Bursitis
Bursitis is a joint injury that affects the tiny, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) cushioning the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joint. The injury mainly occurs in the shoulder, elbow, and hip. Repetitive motions, positions that put pressure on the parts of your body, and sudden injury or infection are the leading causes of bursitis.

Old age and workaholics are usually at a higher risk of getting bursitis due to repetitiveness. Its symptoms are pain while moving, swelling, limited range of motion, redness, warmth, fever, and chills, especially when an infection is present.

Bursa irritation that happens with repetition of motion can worsen the situation. Therefore, avoid accelerating the problem by resting to prevent and ultimately treat bursitis. There are also home remedies that can help with pain relief. You can elevate, ice, or use a splint, sling, or brace to rest the injured area.

If the pain is severe, over-the-counter medications can be a better option. However, seek medical help from rheumatologists who treat this joint injury. After diagnosis, they can recommend physical or occupational therapy, injection of a corticosteroid medication, or surgery in the worst-case scenario.

Joints play an essential role in completing the human body, crucial for proper functioning. Joint injuries expose you to risk factors that can limit your effectiveness. That is why you need to take personal initiative to protect your joints and ultimately reduce the risks.

Some preventive measures include exercising correctly, a healthy lifestyle that includes rest when necessary, and responding at the right time when you experience signs of these common joint injuries. If you already have some of the signs and symptoms, seek professional help to save your joints in time. Doctors have the experience and knowledge to recommend the best treatment that fits you best. Finally, follow their instructions.