Joint Pain: When to See a Doctor

Joint Pain

Joints are located where two bones meet—opening and closing like a hinge, allowing for various types of movement. When joints are damaged, it can limit your range of motion as well as cause pain and irritation. In most cases, joint pain is seldom an emergency. However, it is important to know which signs and symptoms to look out for.

Types of Joint Injuries

There are four main types of joint injuries:

  • Sprains: When a ligament is stretched or torn as a result of trauma.
  • Strains: When a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn as a result of trauma.
  • Fractures: When a bone is broken. This can range from a small crack to a complete break.
  • Dislocations: When the bone is separated from its usual position at a joint.

Mild Symptoms

While symptoms may vary depending on the type of joint injury sustained, these are the most common:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected limb.
  • Limited range of motion around joint.
  • A “popping” feeling/sound during the injury.
  • Muscle spasms

Self-Care After an Injury

After experiencing a mild joint injury, you can use the following tips to manage your symptoms:

  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers as directed.
  • Ice the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times each day.
  • Soak the affected area in warm water or take a bath to relax the surrounding muscles.

Severe Symptoms that Should be Consulted by a Doctor

If you experience any of the following symptoms following an injury, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Visual deformity—the body part may look “flat” or “out of place”.
  • Bone poking through the skin.
  • Inability to move or use the joint
  • Immediate and rapid swelling.

Orthopedic Services in Vincennes, IN

At Good Samaritan, our team of orthopedic doctors provides a comprehensive range of personalized care to patients of all ages. Specializing in joint replacements, arthroscopic procedures, and sports medicine, our expert orthopedic doctors have more than 60 combined years of experience. To learn more about our orthopedic services, call us today at 812-882-5220.

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