When Should You See a Doctor for Your Joint Pain?

October 17, 2018 0

Most individuals will eventually suffer from some kind of joint pain. It’s fairly rare that you’ll have to see a doctor for your joint pain. Most of the time, joint pain is just a simple symptom of aging.

However, this isn’t to say that joint pain is never a reason to go to the doctor. There are some situations for which a trip to the doctor is necessary.

Wondering what would necessitate such a trip? Need help understanding and dealing with your joint pain? This article has all of the information you need.

Signs You Need to See a Joint Doctor

As was noted above, most joint pain does not need the assessment of a doctor. Often it can be improved with RICE therapy. RICE stands for rest, ice, compress (ACE bandage), and elevate. All of this is done to reduce swelling and inflammation. This is good for acute injuries but not for injuries due to chronic wear and tear.

Physical Deformity

If your joint pain is combined with a deformity of some kind, you should go see a doctor. A physical deformity is indicative of a serious problem which can’t be easily corrected by yourself.

Some deformities to look out for include oddly facing fingers and toes, and bent elbows and knees.

Unbearable Pain

As we mentioned earlier, some joint pain is not a huge cause for concern. This pain comes with aging. However, if you’re experiencing unbearable pain at all hours of the day, you’re suffering from a serious problem, and should see a doctor immediately.

Extreme Swelling

If you have joint problems, you’re bound to experience a bit of swelling. While some swelling is probably not a big problem, extreme swelling is absolutely something that needs be checked out.

Loss of Functionality

This is a simple one: if your joints are preventing you from doing things that you used to be able to do, they are a problem. It’s rare that you can fully treat non-functioning joints on your own. Your best bet is to let a qualified joint pain doctor help you with your treatment.

Signs You Should Handle Joint Pain on Your Own

In most cases, you should be able to handle your joint pain on your own. Here are some signs that your joint pain is only minor, and probably doesn’t require professional treatment.

Light Swelling

Swelling in the joints occurs when the joints become inflamed. Generally, the more inflammation that’s present, the more swelling there will be. Everyone suffers from a bit of inflammation every now and then, so, if your swelling is only minor, there’s no legitimate reason to see a doctor.

Reddened Skin

If your skin is red, but no other remarkable symptoms are presenting themselves, there’s no reason to see a doctor. Reddened skin is only a concern if it’s accompanied by other serious symptoms (ie. severe swelling, extreme pain, fevers, etc.).

Mild Pain

Most individuals start to feel some pain in their joints as they grow older. Minor pain in the joints is no reason to panic and run to the doctor. Generally, such pain can be treated with ice packs, heated blankets, and stretching.

A Summary of Joint Diseases

If you think you may be suffering from a chronic joint disease, you are absolutely going to want to go see a doctor for joint pain. Below, we’re going to discuss some of the most well-known joint diseases.


One of the most common joint diseases there is, arthritis is a condition in which the joints become inflamed. This condition comes in a number of different types, some of which are quite mild, and some of which are very severe.

Arthritis typically results in severe pain, extreme swelling, loss of functionality, and general stiffness. It can be caused by everything from infection, to overuse, to a direct injury, and a variety of other entities.

In any case, if you think you might have arthritis, you need to see a doctor. He or she will assess your joints, and help you to establish a treatment plan.


While not as common as arthritis, bursitis is still a fairly common joint disease. This is a disease in which the bursae become inflamed. The bursae are the fluid-filled cushions which help to pad the joints.

Generally, bursitis is caused by repetitive activity. For instance, if you are working at a job stacking boxes all day, you might get bursitis in the knee or shoulder joints.

In some cases, bursitis can be treated with ice packs and rest. However, in many cases, especially when severe pain is involved, it’s wise to see a doctor. He or she can establish a treatment plan, and can also offer you an injection into the area. Caring for Joint Pain on Your Own

If you’re suffering from just minor pain in the joints, it’s recommended that you treat it by yourself. Minor joint pain typically doesn’t require the assessment of a doctor. There are a few different things you can do to treat such pain.

Regular exercise will help you to build muscle and lose weight, taking pressure off of your joints. Loosen yourself up before exercise with a hot pad, and then relieve inflammation after exercise with an ice pack. Minor pain medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin can also help to relieve pain.

Looking for a Doctor in New Jersey?

Are you experiencing severe swelling? Are your joints in unbearable pain? In need of a doctor in New Jersey?

You can find that doctor here at Garden State Medical Center. Our team of highly-skilled doctors is well-versed in the treatment of chronic joint pain.

Schedule an appointment now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our Mailing List