Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Acute Joint Pain vs. Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most common ailments among American adults. Over 20% (about 54 million people) suffer from some form of arthritis in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Arthritis can cause debilitating joint pain and is the leading cause of workplace disability according to the CDC, and accounts for over $100 billion in medical costs every year. 

While osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis in the U.S.) is a common cause of joint pain, it’s not the only one. There are other factors that can cause short term joint pain that usually clears up without causing lasting damage to the joint.

At Healthy Life Family Medicine, our primary care physician Dr. John Monroe and our team of family medicine specialists offer joint pain and arthritis treatment at our office in Goodyear, Arizona.

The difference between acute joint pain and arthritis

Acute joint pain comes on suddenly and usually doesn’t result from an underlying condition or damage to the joint. Some of the possible causes of acute joint pain other than arthritis include:

Depending on the underlying cause and severity, acute joint pain is usually treated with rest, icing, medication, and physical therapy if needed. Depending on the cause, acute joint pain usually clears up within a few weeks with self care and conservative treatment.

Signs and symptoms of arthritis

Chronic joint pain (long term pain that persists for weeks or months) may be a sign of arthritis and joint damage. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis, which results from wear and tear on the joints over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis, another common form of arthritis, also causes joint damage and deterioration over time, but results from an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints.

Some of the signs and symptoms of arthritis-related joint pain include:

It can be difficult to tell whether your joint pain is the result of temporary inflammation or arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that you keep track of your symptoms and if the pain and stiffness feels worse at a certain time of day, after physical activity or rest, and the duration of your symptoms.

If your symptoms last more than a few weeks, get progressively worse, or you develop other symptoms like a fever or a rash, seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Know your risk factors

Anyone can develop arthritis, but some people may have a higher risk due to factors like age, family history, previous joint damage or injury, or underlying health problems like obesity.

For more information about arthritis treatment and how to manage joint pain, contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Monroe, or you can book your appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Prepare for Your Yearly Physical

Yearly physicals are one of the best ways to ensure you’re enjoying optimal health. Checkups monitor existing conditions and detect new issues so you can get treated. From scheduling to the day of, learn how you can prepare for your physical.

Benefits of an Annual Flu Shot

Each year, millions of people get sick with the flu, and every year, some of those people die as a result of their illness. Having an annual flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself — and your loved ones — this flu season.

Is Back Pain Normal As You Age?

Do you have back pain? You’re not alone. This common problem is a leading cause of missed work and job-related disability. But is it a normal part of the aging process? Keep reading to learn more.

The Best Ways to Manage Your Joint Pain

Joint pain doesn’t have to limit your mobility — or your ability to do the things you love. Today, you have quite a few treatment options that can help you find effective, long-lasting joint pain relief.

That Hip Pain Could Actually Be a Sciatica Problem

If you’re struggling with unexplained pain in one of your hips, the problem may originate with the sciatic nerve in your lower back. Here’s a look at the telltale signs that your hip pain may be a result of a pinched nerve in your back.