Joint swelling is the body’s normal reaction to injury or insult, whether it is from an accidental fall, repetitive stress, or infection. The swelling itself can cause discomfort and pain, as well as limited movement and restricted exercise.
Often, long-lasting, chronic joint swelling is a sign of a larger problem. Joint swelling can be caused by many different conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Gout (acute gouty arthritis)
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus)
- Reactive arthritis
Determining the proper cause of your joint swelling can involve physical examinations, blood tests, and x-rays of the joints. Keeping track of your joint pain, such as location, aggravating factors, other symptoms, and when the pain is worst will help your doctor give a proper diagnosis.
Depending on the source of your joint swelling and joint pain, your doctor could suggest several different treatments, ranging from exercise to anti-inflammatory and pain medication.