Joint Pain
Joint pain can be caused by a multitude of factors. ​​Two of the most common causes of joint pain are overuse and trauma. Other causes include side effects from medications (such as statins), autoimmune disorders, congenital conditions, infections, growth, gout and in some cases neoplasms. Joint pains can be isolated to one joint or present in various places at the same time depending on the cause of the pain itself. 

Overuse injuries occur to muscle, joints, ligaments and connective tissue (fascia) when they are stressed through use and given little time to repair (Nickelston, P., 2012). This can occur anywhere but most commonly in the workplace, due to repetitive movement patterns causing an imbalance in the musculoskeletal system over long periods of time (for example: working at a computer for 8 hours a day 5 or more days a week). When one muscle group is overused the opposing group of muscles (think of moving the opposite way) will become underused due to compensation. This can result in muscle imbalance, tendinopathies, repetitive strain injuries and osteoarthritis. ​
Trauma is often considered as an injury resulting from an outside force acting upon an an area. Where in many cases this is true there are also cases where imbalances in the body make the possibility of trauma more likely to occur. Typical cases of traumatic musculoskeletal injuries are joint dislocations or subluxations, bone fractures, ligament sprains and torn muscles. One of the most common and underlooked causes of traumatic injuries is pregnancy and labour.
If a traumatic injury is left untreated, chronic injuries and pain can occur. This is not only detrimental to physical health but can also lead to depression and anxiety related issues. 
Some health conditions can be risk factors for traumatic injuries, these should be taken in to consideration by health practitioners before diagnosis and during any agreed treatment plan. Certain conditions can be worsened through treatment if not diagnosed and approached accordingly. These cases are very rare but it is advised to speak with your practitioner if you have any concerns or are prone to certain types of injury.
Other causes of joint pain
Autoimmune conditions are becoming more prevalent in modern times. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthtitis, multiple sclerosis and polymyalgia rhuematica are diseases where the body's natural immune system identifies healthy tissue as a pathogen or threat and begins to attack it (Calabro, S., 2009). Each of these has a joint or musculoskeletal pain pattern presentation, normally with more than one area of pain at any time and should be considered by your practitioner during diagnosis. 
Certain medications are reknowned for having musculoskeletal side effects. Simvastatin is one of the most commonly prescribed lipophillic statin drugs. Side effects listed of simvastatin on include joint pain, muscle cramps, spasms or stiffness and muscular pain tenderness, wasting or weakness. Other medications which can cause joint pains are protein pump inhibitors (PPIs); such as omeprazole, biphosphonates; such as pamidronate disodium, and certain hypertension medications; such as hydralazine (Cooper, D., 2010). Please ensure your practitioner is informed of all medications taken prior to treatment.
How can osteopathy help joint pain?
Osteopathy is an holisitic form of manual therapy and approaches each presentation to correct the body's tensions and imbalances. Many joint pains are resulting from long term postural or use problems so can be approached by correcting the imablance and allowing a more effective and less strenuous use of the joints. In some cases the osteopath may refer for further investigation to ensure there is no underlying cause which may be exacerbated through manual therapy.
To find out if osteopathy can help you or to book an appointment get in touch today!
Uncommon but potentially serious symptoms.
Call NHS direct on 111 if you experience symptoms such as:
  • numbness in any or both limb(s), around the bottocks or genital area.
  • loss of muscle power
  • rashes 
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pains radiating to the neck or left arm
  • loss of balance
  • incontinence or loss of bowel/bladder control
  • pain urinating or passing stools
  • an aversion to light
  • unexplained weight loss
  • pain not relieved by medication and worse at night.