Are you suffering from pain in your body joints? Watch out, for it might be a case of Arthralgia, a painful and inflammatory condition. Read on to know what is Arthralgia. Also learn about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the disorder.
It is a general medical term that is used to denote pain in one or more joints of the body. The word comes from a merger of two Greek terms – “arthro” meaning “joint” and “algos” standing for “pain”.
The condition is also known as “Joint Pain” or “Joint Stiffness”.
Arthralgia ICD9 Code
The ICD-9 Code for Arthralgia is 719.4.
This is a specific condition that gives rise to pain in the joints. The condition may lead to painful symptoms in various joints of the body at different points of time. This makes patients feel as if the pain is shifting from one joint to another.
The condition is sometimes also referred to as “Migrating Arthralgias.”
It is a common condition that affects the Patellofemoral joints. It is frequently observed in athletes. The syndrome is marked by discomforting sensations or pain that seems to arise from the contact of the femur (thigh bone) with the back of the kneecap (posterior patellar surface). The disease is well known in the field of sports medicine.
This is a rare condition that involves internal joint derangement. It arises when joints of the jaw and the muscles (that are used in grinding teeth or chewing) fail to act in coordination with each other. This is a painful disorder that mainly develops in individuals with
- Malocclusion (poor bite)
- Accidental damage to face or jaw bones
- Habits such as grinding or clenching the teeth (Bruxism)
Such problems put the muscles under stress. Occasionally, it also arises in people suffering from craniomandibular conditions and disorders like Arthritis. The disease leads to highly discomforting symptoms, such as:
- Chronic postural head tilting
- Facial asymmetry
- Tenderness and pain of the jaw muscles and various neck and facial muscles
- Grinding and clicking sounds during jaw movement
- Irregular or limited jaw movement
- Tenderness in front of the ear auricle
The condition is usually treated by a combination of medical and dental therapy. Acute cases are resolved through hot compresses, soft diet, anti-inflammatory medications and in some cases – muscle relaxants.
The condition is characterized by a pain. Its intensity varies from person to person and is described as dull, sharp, burning, throbbing or stabbing. The degree of this pain varies from mild to severe. The pain usually extends along a single nerve or a cluster of nerves. In acute cases, especially those that result from injuries, symptoms can include:
- Tissue damage
- Profuse bleeding
- Acute joint pain
- High fever, with body temperature higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
The condition is primarily caused by a swelling of the body joints. It may also result from other causes, such as:
- Autoimmune conditions
- Disorders, such as measles, hepatitis or flu that make the joints sore and stiff
Arthralgia may also be caused due to Rheumatoid arthritis, a disorder in which the immune system falsely attacks tissues of healthy joints. This leads to severe, constant joint pain. The painful symptoms may arise in many areas of the body.
The problem can also arise due to Osteoarthritis, a disease that involves chronic degeneration of cartilage in the body joints. The cartilage and bone tissue wears down over a period of time, causing acute pain. The disease mainly affects older people. It may also occur due to a combination of general wear-and-tear and genetics. The pain can drastically reduce the ability of a person to enjoy daily activities.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a type of autoimmune disorder, can also be a possible cause for this form of joint pain. The condition may affect different regions of the body. The disease occurs when the immune system makes an abnormal response to the cells and tissues of a patient. Due to this reason, the tissues swell and suffer damage.
Some other possible causes of Arthralgia can include any of the following:
- Crohn’s disease
- Lyme disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Cancers, which metastasize to bones
The diagnosis of this condition involves asking patients about their symptoms and daily lifestyle. It also includes carrying out physical tests. Patients are asked several medical questions to help doctors narrow down the possible causes. This can help doctors use appropriate medical tests and lab examinations for diagnosis. Patients may also be asked about whether they are experiencing symptoms like rashes, light sensitivity, dry mouth. Doctors may also try to check whether patients have a history of seizures.
People experiencing severe Arthralgia should pay a visit to a primary healthcare provider to get proper diagnosis and treatment. Computerized tomography scans and X-rays can help detect the actual degree of tissue damage.
The treatment of this disorder depends on the specific underlying cause. The remission of the condition depends on the pace at which the underlying disease is treated and made to resolve. Based on the underlying cause, physicians may prescribe antibiotics, pain relievers (of high-strength) or arthritis medications to patients. In more severe cases, patients may require wearing of a sling or brace to immobilize the impacted joint until it fully heals. If tissue damage is substantial, the patient may be recommended an operative treatment that can repair the joint or replace a section of it.
Doctors usually recommend use of home remedies to manage minor cases of this condition. Home care depends on the underlying cause and usually involves taking warm baths or icing the joint. Patients may be asked to limit their activities (especially those that involve the affected joints) or carry out stretching exercises. If deemed as appropriate, drugs available over-the-counter may be used to lower pain and inflammation.
In some cases, patients may find relief through physical therapy. Swelling in the joints is commonly alleviated by use of steroid injections. If doctors find it necessary, they may perform a process known as joint aspiration (Arthrocentesis) to remove fluid from the affected joint. Casting or surgery may be required to cure Arthralgia caused by a broken bone. If the condition occurs due to a joint infection, surgery may be needed to resolve the infection with antibiotics being used as follow-ups.
Arthralgia Home Remedies
As aforementioned, minor cases of this disorder resolve with basic home remedies. Rest is one of the main treatment options that can heal affected joints naturally. Allowing proper rest to the impacted joint lets the underlying tissues to heal from within. Other home remedies include:
- Application of ice
- Limiting activities
- Applying warm, moist compress over the joint
Arthralgia Natural Treatment
The natural treatment for Arthralgia involves use of:
The seed of flax plant is famous for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Consuming a tablespoon of flaxseed for three times a day helps alleviate pain in joints.
Mix half teaspoon of cinnamon powder with one tablespoon of honey. Consume this daily in the morning, before breakfast. This works as a powerful remedy for joint pain.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium and is highly effective against joint pain. Mix 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt with similar amount of fresh lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a cup of warm water and drink the solution every morning to reduce pain.
If left untreated, this disease may give rise to acute complications. These involve:
- Lack of ability to carry out daily tasks
- Acute infections
- Pain or serious discomfort
- Spread of infection
- Spread of cancer
- Apparent deformity of the impacted joint
The risk of such complications can be minimized by consulting a health care professional and following the specific treatment plan devised for you.
The prognosis of this disorder depends on three factors:
- The underlying problem that acts as the cause of the condition
- Whether the condition is acute or chronic
- How the condition or its underlying cause is treated
When Arthralgia arises due to fibromyalgia, lupus, polymyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, it usually shows favorable response when the underlying disease is successful treated with immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory or disease-modifying drugs. If the condition results from a chronic cause, patients are likely to suffer from occasional flare-ups, persistence or recurrence of the disease. Surgery, if conducted, is needed to resolve a particular problem such as joint damage resulting from rheumatoid arthritis or osteo- arthritis. The success rate of treatment of the condition depends on its nature and severity as well as how the curative process is performed. Arthralgia, resulting from severe arthritis of the knee and hip, can be very successfully treated by joint replacement.
If you or anyone in your family is suffering from symptoms of Arthralgia, you should seek medical care on an immediate basis. Treatment is particularly necessary in case of recurrence of symptoms or acute symptoms like high fever or severe joint pain. Early treatment can help do away with these problems much faster and get back to health within a short time.