What Are The Different Types of Joint Pain?
Joint pain can come from a number of sources and covers a variety of different conditions. The ‘joint’ includes many different structures, each with important functions. Perhaps the most common sources of joint pain are bursitis, arthritis, ligament dysfunction, cartilage and subchondral bone issues, and tendon damage. However, these aren’t always the reason for joint pain. Another possibility is nerve irritation or damage. Every joint is surrounded by sensory organs and nerves and these might be the true source of perceived discomfort.
Bursitis is the filling of fluid-filled sacs that cushion and protect the joint. If that particular joint is overused through repetitive motion, then the bursa can become inflamed, leading to a lot of pain.
Repetitive motion of the joint typically takes place at physically demanding jobs or sports.
As with a lot of instances of inflammation though, you can also experience inflamed bursae through trauma as well. The most common reason for bursitis is idiopathic. That is doctor speak for ‘we don’t really know’. Bursal sacs become inflamed and filled with scar and inflammatory proteins simply due to the overall balance of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in someone’s system.
Inflammatory conditions like arthritis can also cause bursitis. However, arthritis alone can also create joint pain. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that is linked to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to inflamed, stiff, swollen, and painful joints.
A loss of cartilage, a protective connective tissue in the joints can eventually lead to your joints being painfully ‘bone on bone’. Managing inflammation and oxidative stress can reduce your risk of developing arthritis, and help treat the painful symptoms if you already have it. Arthritis is now known to be a ‘whole organ’ or ‘entire joint’ disease and is considered one of many diseases that are due to chronic inflammatory changes.
Tendon damage can also be caused by overuse or repetitive use. Your tendons can become more aggravated when you don’t spend the necessary time recovering and resting from activities like physical labor and sports. However, tendinitis is not always caused by repetitive motion, it’s degenerative and can be caused by damaged connective tissue due to chronic inflammation. Tendon health is dependent upon having the right micronutrients to form collagen bundles and the appropriate cross-links. Growth hormone, rates and frequency of loads, sleep patterns and much more affect tendon health. Connective tissue disorders often cause tendon problems. Diabetes can as well.
Treating Joint Pain
One of Dr. Warner’s treatment methods for painful conditions involving the joint is PRP, or platelet-rich plasma therapy. The process involves taking platelets from your own blood and using them to enhance natural healing abilities in the damaged area. This encourages your body to heal more quickly. PRP provides the growth factors and proteins needed for tissue healing and inflammation reduction.
Oftentimes patients are told to take NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, but there can be side effects to these temporary anti-inflammatories. Over time, NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal and kidney damage and more in the short-term. That’s why Dr. Warner developed Well Theory, and incorporated supplements that have benefits that rival the effectiveness of NSAIDs, but in a much more gentle manner. NSAIDs may still be necessary in extreme situations and Dr. Warner still prescribes them. However, she believes that a good baseline of control of chronic inflammation makes these needed less often and in lower doses.
Dr. Warner often recommends Tart Cherry Extract for patients with painful inflammatory conditions. This powerful antioxidant is a tried and true method for fighting free radicals that cause oxidative stress and reducing inflammation. It’s great for supporting connective tissue and healthy blood flow. And the best part - Tart Cherry Extract is a mild supplement that doesn’t have the side effects of NSAIDs, but is able to provide the same level of pain relief over time.
Another supplement designed by Dr. Warner for Well Theory is the Joint Health Multi. This supplement combines the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits of turmeric, ginger, and PEA. Turmeric and ginger have both been used for thousands of years to treat pain and injuries, while PEA is a naturally occuring compound your body produces in response to pain. PEA can also be found in Well Theory’s Daily Multi and as a single-ingredient capsule.