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Causes of Radiating Joint Pain

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Overview

Numerous conditions can cause radiating joint pain. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, joint pain, including radiating joint pain, or joint pain that travels into nearby structures and tissues, may be caused by wear and tear, traumatic injury, autoimmune disorders and certain medical conditions. Radiating joint pain can be painful and debilitating, affecting a person's ability to perform activities of daily living.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can cause radiating joint pain. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a progressive joint disease, and it is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis involves a wearing down of the slippery articular cartilage that lines the ends of bones within a joint. The smooth articular cartilage is responsible for absorbing shock and allowing the bones to move against each other without friction during movement. In a person with osteoarthritis, the joint surface becomes rough, and joint motion causes pain in and around the affected joint. Along with radiating joint pain, common signs and symptoms associated with osteoarthritis include joints that appear stiff and swollen, an observable lump over the involved joint, decreased joint range of motion, and a clicking or snapping sound in the joint when it is moved.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause radiating joint pain. MayoClinic.com states that rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that usually targets the body's smaller joints, such as the joints in the hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis causes painful swelling of the affected joint's lining, which can lead to bone erosion and joint degeneration over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body's immune system senses the joint lining as foreign and attacks it. Common signs and symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis include joint pain in and around the affected joint; joint swelling and tenderness; red and swollen hands; nodules or bumps under the skin in the involved area; fatigue, morning stiffness, fever and weight loss. According to MayoClinic.com, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint damage that's debilitating and disfiguring.

SI Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac, or SI, joint dysfunction can cause radiating joint pain. The SI joints are located at the base of the spine, and they link the wedge-shaped sacrum with the ilia, or hip bones. According to the Sports Injury Clinic website, SI joint dysfunction is an umbrella term that describes numerous sacroiliac joint injuries. Two common types of SI joint dysfunction include SI joint hypo- and hyper-mobility. Hypo-mobility indicates that the joint is fixated and is not moving as much as it should. Hyper-mobility means that the joint is moving too much. Both injuries can affect the ligaments that bind the SI joints, causing symptoms throughout the lower back and pelvis region. Common signs and symptoms associated with SI joint dysfunction include lower back pain that radiates to the buttocks, leg or the front of the groin; difficulty with certain activities of daily living, such as putting on shoes; and tenderness in the SI joints when they are pressed.


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