OFTEN time the causes is swol­len painful joints are multifac­torial in nature and broadly fall into various categories, such as an inflammatory process degeneration of cartilages in the joints especially with age, infection, trauma or crystal depo­sition. Furthermore, the disease pro­cess is futher classified in groups such as Osteoarthritis, Arthritis, Disloca­tions, Fractures, Rheumatoid arthri­tis, gout, Tenosynovitis, and Systemic lupus Erythematous but to mention few common ones.
The clinical presentation often overlaps with patients presenting with joint stiffness, tenderness, inflamma­tion and swelling. Except for Rheu­matoid arthritis which causes joint disfigurement and gout where the big toe is mostly affected and a burning sensation of the foot.
Management of this condition en­tails doing x-rays, blood testing for auto-immune markers such as RF (Rheumatoid factors)and serum uric acid levels. The use of a sonar is often useful when one suspects the involve­ment of soft tissue and CT scan/ MRI scan are highly useful in difficult case because of their high resolution which gives clear define images. Analgesia (pain killers) are often prescribed to easy the pain Physiotherapy and Bio­kinetics are very good rehabilitative modalities to improve movement.
There are other aspects that pa­tients can engage to help improve the quality of their joints health such as losing weight, exercising and taking supplements such as calcium and magnesium. We often advise our pa­tient to wear comfortable shoes and using cushions to help easy the pain.
In conclusion it is always a good thing to have your doctor examine your joints properly especially our elderly population because they are often the one at increased risk.

Dr. Makemba Shayela Nelson – MBChB – University of Kwazulu-Na­tal, Durban, South Africa. Nesha Medical Practice.

Source: Confidente