Body pain is generally comprised of two main types of pain, joint pain and muscle pain. Most people confuse these two types of pain with each other, but it is very important to understand the causes, differences and treatments for both.
Muscles basically support your skeletal system and allow for movement and motor activity, while joints connect bones (which are supported by the muscles) and allow for complex movement as in the case of elbow joints and shoulder joints etc.
If you constantly feel pain in your body, assess yourself before seeing a doctor so that you know more about it. I’ll be telling you about both types of body pains in general here along with possible cures for them.
What is Joint Pain?
Joint Pain can be caused either by a disease or an injury that may have occurred to the joint. A joint can simply be defined as a point that holds two bones together. Body movement would be simply impossible without joints and each joint consists of ligaments, tendons and a fluid to prevent friction.
Ligaments attach the two concerned bones together while tendons wrap muscle around the joint. A person suffering from joint pain may have suffered an injury to any one of these biological components.
Joint pain can occur in any category of body joints such as shoulders, elbows, knuckles or knees. Below are the few commonly discovered causes.
- Arthritis: This is one of the most common causes of joint pain these days. Arthritis has two further types Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is the reason behind almost all kinds of pain experienced in joints of hands, wrists, hips or knees etc.
- Cancer: People suffering from cancer or those going through chemotherapy are likely to have severe discomfort in the joints. The reason being lack of red blood cells in the body during cancer treatment.
- Physical injuries: The most obvious reason is physical impact or a collision that you recently suffered from. While in many cases, a recent collision is indeed the reason, you are still advised to get it checked at a nearby clinic.
- Over usage of a certain joint: Joints contain a fluid inside them known as “synovial fluid”. When a certain joint is used more than its ‘biological mileage’, the liquid dries out. Hence, resulting in wearing out of the joint due to increased friction and consequently pain.
- Thyroid issues: Hypothyroidism is a certain thyroid problem in which the body suffers from severe joint pain in multiple joints.
You need to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following symptoms.
- Swelling of a joint.
- Apparent deformity of a joint.
- Irresponsiveness of the joint.
- Serious pain in the joint.
A doctor may diagnose joint issues by physical examination or x-ray scans. The doctor shall ask you questions about the pain and then recommend the treatment accordingly. Following are the few commonly recommended treatments:
- Specific exercises for movement of joints.
- Applying certain body oils regularly to the affected joints.
- Surgery is recommended if ligament or tendon issues are involved.
What is Muscle Pain?
Mostly the pain we feel all over our body in a state of sickness or every other morning is due to muscle aches. This type of pain occurs quite often and is also known as myalgia in medical terms. It is not related to joints per se and is a result of muscle tissues getting affected in one way or another, the most common being fatigue.
The pain you feel in your muscles may be due to one of the reasons mentioned below:
- Increased Muscle Tension: This condition occurs when excessive force is applied on a certain muscle. Happens often to weight lifters or power lifters.
- Infections such as flu or polio: Most infections are a combination of viruses that run through the blood stream. This allows the infections to target your muscles as well.
- Injury or a collision: Muscles are the next wall of defence for the body right after your skin. They take all physical hits first and hence can be damaged by collisions and hurt.
You can reasonably diagnose muscle pain with the following symptoms:
- Pain in the fleshy parts of your body, including arms, thighs, calves, back and neck.
- Pinching pain when you try to move a limb or your back.
- Pain relaxing instantly in certain poses and positions.
Doctors mostly recommend treatment for muscles through exercise or physical activity.
- Use of hot water bottles on affected muscle areas.
- Proper warm up before all kinds of exercises.
- Regular stretching of all body muscles.
- Staying hydrated at all times.
We hope this post clarifies any confusions about the difference between muscle and joint pain. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below.