A joint is a connection of two bones. Everywhere in our body where two bones meet, a joint is formed. Damaging a joint can affect very important structures that support and hold the joint’s two connecting surfaces together. A joint injury, for example a joint dislocation, usually results in joint inflammation. Cilliers & Swart Physiotherapists can help you through treatment heal your injury and help you recover.
Each person’s case is unique and we want to address your specific needs. If you would like us to investigate or provide some insight, we invite you to contact us by clicking the link below.
Types of joint pain
Inflammation in Joints
Inflammation indicates that your body is trying to repair the injured tissue. However, you are still at risk of developing an abnormal inflammatory response when healing of the injured tissue is hindered or the damage to the tissue increases. The noticeable swelling is caused by the increase in the number of cells in that joint. More damage to the tissue will cause the swelling to increase and by extension you will experience greater pain.
Treatment of inflammation in joints
Medications such as any NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that are available over the counter are effective at relieving the pain. These medications include: Cataflam or K-Fenak, (Diclofenac or Ibrufen based medications)
A physiotherapist uses Ultrasound, Laser, STIMS and other joint mobilisation techniques which are targeted to the specific joint.
A dislocated joint happens when the bones and joint surfaces are shifted to abnormal positions compared to their normal position. A great amount of force is necessary to dislocate a joint. This disruption of bone and joint positions in relation to each other, significantly damages the connecting surfaces and ligaments (responsible for holding the surfaces together).
Never try to relocate a joint to its natural position with force. Rather seek urgent medical assistance. Medical practitioners relocate a joint without risking permanent damage to vital arteries and nerves running inside the joint. Attempting it yourself could seriously compromise the blood flow to your joint.
Treatment of dislocated joint
A physiotherapist first assesses the extent of the damage before advising on treatment. The faster you get treatment, the better your chances are of making a full recovery.
Degeneration of Joints
Over time, your joints will show increased wear and tear. Degeneration happens to all our joints after years of use and abuse. As the surfaces slide and glide over one another they get worn out (like the tires on a car). In some cases, joints start to degenerate at a young age. Accelerated degeneration can be causes by trauma or severe damage to a joint.
Treatment of degeneration of joints
Temporary solution is taking chronic anti-inflammatory medication (Arcoxia or Cerebrex). A A long-term solution includes assessing the damage to the joint and re-distributing the forces running over the joint. This is done by strengthening or shortening certain muscles. Additionally, physiotherapists can help adjusting your posture to reduce the load and demand placed on that joint. However, no quick fix exists.
If your joints have locked up, you will be unable to move through your full range of movement. It will feel as if your joint gets stuck or is limited in its range of movement. A locked joint occurs when the ‘cushions’ between the joint surfaces get damaged. Alternatively, the membrane on the inside of the joint gets trapped when you move into a specific position.
Treatment of Locking joints
Physiotherapist test these structures through stress tests (on the joint surfaces). A physiotherapist will explain the results of the tests and could recommend an additional Sonar, Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI in cases where further investigation is necessary.
Clicking joints are sign of instability. However, there is no immediate danger. Experiencing pain as the joint click could indicate significant damage to the tendons and ligaments surrounding the joint. Physiotherapist reproduce the clicking during a session and determine the extent of the damage to the joint capsule, ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint. Traditionally, you have to complete muscle specific exercises (as directed by your physiotherapist) to strengthen the affected joint. These exercises also help to prevent the snapping of a tendon over bone.
Swelling inside a joint is normal for 3 days after injury has occurred. Your body will keep sending inflammatory cells into the joint until it is satisfied that injured tissue is repaired. But in some cases the inflammatory cells cannot repair the injured tissue. If the swelling is visibly blue in colour, it indicates that severe trauma has happened and that the arteries and veins have torn. This kind of tearing results in the blood pooling inside a joint.
Sudden joint pain
(develop within a day)
- Sharp sudden pain
- Worse when moving as compared to static positions
- Pain when doing a specific moment
- Muscle tightness surrounding sharp pain
- Pulling feeling when stretched/moved
- With or without swelling
- Pinching feeling at end of range
- Unable to pinpoint it to one specific spot
Progressive joint pain
(develop over a few days/weeks)
- Dull ache over a large area
- Sharp sudden pain
- Worse in static positions as compared to movement
- Pain through entire range of movement
- Unable to find a pain-free position
- Slight loss of muscle strength
- Dull pain when stretched
- Little swelling
- Unable to find a comfortable position to sit, stand/ lie down
- Unable to pinpoint it to one specific spot
Why is your joint pain lasting longer than expected?
You believed the pain would go away over time (on its own) but it didn’t
You went to the Doctor who told you to rest and take painkillers. The painkillers helped to relieve the immediate pain but didn’t help your injured joint. As soon as the painkillers wore off, the joint pain returned
A family member (or friend) told you that “Everybody experiences joint pain as they grow older,” and that you should just accepted it
In the past you went to other Healthcare Professionals (or a Physiotherapist) but nothing they said or did seemed to help
YouTube exercises and home remedies didn’t help relieve the pain, or in some cases made the joint pain ten times worse
You thought it would be a good idea to rest because your joint was so sore. However, afterwards your joint felt even more stiff and tight than before
You went for massages, hoping they would relieve the pain. The massages felt pleasant and relaxing, but didn’t do anything to fix your joint pain in the long term
Experiencing these situations or applying similar advice and not getting results is a good thing. Why? Because these experiences help you know what doesn’t work for you. It means that you are closer to finding out what does work for you!
We invite you to book an appointment with a Physiotherapist (at our Pretoria practice). During an appointment we assess your symptoms, diagnose the cause, educate you about what is happening in your body and then start treatment. See our FAQ for more in depth information about what to expect from a physiotherapy session.
Alternatively, click the link below to book a FREE phone call. The phone call is complimentary and there is no obligation to book any appointments with us after the call is over. This is an opportunity to get an expert’s advice about your situation. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision about what to do next concerning your joint pain.
Choose a Cilliers & Swart Physiotherapist to aid you in getting rid of your joint pain
What can we do for you?
We quickly put an end to pain and stiffness – often within a couple of sessions
We help you find out what is going on in your body and help you understand the root cause (and symptoms) of your joint pain
Pain can rob you of sleep or rest. We make it easier for you to return to your normal sleeping patterns and positions so that your energy and potential for recovery increases
Cilliers & Swart Physiotherapists closely manage and treat your problem. We also provide you with related exercises to speed up your recovery
Using painkillers in the long-term can be harmful to your health. We help you lower or completely stop your need for painkillers to manage pain
Our physiotherapists safeguard you against dangerous and costly surgeries and painful injections
We reduce visits to specialists or doctors who only order you to take more pills
Joint pain can limit the activities you enjoy with your family and friends. Our experts help you get back to spending quality time on the activities you (and your loved ones) like
We can get you to sit comfortably and walk longer than 15 minutes, in both cases without feeling that joints are weak, in pain or about to collapse
In short, we help you get back to living life free from joint pain. For information about costs and availability, click the button below:
4 steps to get rid of joint pain quickly.
Decide to get help.
Many people put off going for treatment, that by the time they receive treatment the injury has worsened over time or caused other problems. Don’t think that pain will ‘just go away with time’. It might sound brave to ‘put up with pain’ over an extended period of time, but the lack of treatment could end up costing you more in terms of time (for recovery) and resources (money) the longer you wait.
Do the RIGHT exercises.
One of the best things to help ease your joint pain is the appropriate series of progressed exercises (as advised by your Physiotherapist or Health Professional). The right kind of activities can reduce your pain and increase your range of movement. Above all, exercises ensure that problems don’t come back. However, the wrong kind of exercises have the potential to increase the pain in your joints even more.
Avoid sitting still for long periods.
One of the worst things you can do is to ‘rest’ in a sitting position for too long. As a safety measure we recommend specific strengthening exercises for better posture. We can help you get active by combining these exercises with our Physiotherapists’ hands-on treatment.
Get hands-on Physiotherapy treatment.
Physiotherapy is proven to improve the lives of people suffering from joint pain. Joint pain could be affecting your physical performance in a professional or private capacity. It could even threaten your independence or get in the way of spending quality time with family and friends. Physiotherapy can enable you to live the life you desire as quickly as possible.
If you would like to know how the Physiotherapy team at Cilliers & Swart can help you, we invite you to book a FREE, no-obligation, risk-free “Call me back” phone call.
Note: This Free Call is a service we offer to people who are nervous or unsure. You might not know if Physiotherapy is the right treatment for you. If you are unsure, please fill out our online form. We will contact you to find out what is wrong and how we can help. There is no financial obligation or risk on your part. You have nothing to lose except your pain.