Disease of the joints (joint disease, arthropathy) has different causes and course and attacks at different ages. Common is that joint disease causes pain, reduced mobility or unstable joints, which goes beyond physical function. Various diseases listed below have links to more information.
Disease causes and symptoms
Arthritis is arthritis. Children, adolescents and the elderly can be attacked. There are various forms of arthritis that are briefly listed below (with links to separate pages with more information). A separate, more comprehensive page about arthritis exists here (in Danish). Osteoarthritis occurs most often among the elderly or after previous injuries. Hips, knees, thumbs, big toes and back are the most common locations.
Characterized by often severe pain heat and redness over the affected joint (rarely multiple inflamed joints)
Rheumatic inflammation (inflammatory rheumatic disease)
- Arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) typically attacks fingers, wrists and feet
- Childhood arthritis (juvenile arthritis) available in various forms and processes, please see separate pages via the link here (in Danish)
- Bekhterev's disease (ankylosing spondylitis)
- Psoriatic arthritis (psoriatic arthritis)
- May look like rheumatoid arthritis, but most people have Psoriasis
- Reactive arthritis (Reiter's disease)
- Starts within days-weeks after infection often with chlamydia (genital disease) or after gastrointestinal infection
- Arthritis by ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (chronic bowel inflammation)
- Crystal arthritis that causes intense, infection-like symptoms
- Systemic connective tissue diseases often cause some degree of arthritis
- Still's Disease among adults (Adult Stills')
- Hemorrhage of joints (hemartosis)
- Auto-inflammatory diseases / periodic fever syndromes (most often from childhood)
- Systemic vasculitis diseases which can often cause some degree of arthritis
- Often hips, knees or finger joints. Causes of illness can be heredity or previous injuries (handball, alpine skiing). Please read more about osteoarthritis on the separate page here (in Danish)
Joint diseases should primarily be diagnosed by a doctor. The diagnosis is based on the following
- Medical history. Please read how to prepare for a rheumatological examination here (in Danish)
- Investigational Findings
- Swollen, painful, hot joint?
- Additional examinations are described in detail on separate page here (in Danish)
- Blood tests
- Ultrasound of attacked joints
- MRI of joints
- X-ray of joints
- Joint puncture with subsequent joint fluid examinations
Treatment of joint disease
The different joint diseases are treated differently. Common is to relieve pain with paracetamol followed by NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, etc.) are the first choices. Please read more about the treatment via the links to the individual diseases listed above. Physiotherapists can contribute with important exercises for mobility and strength, which often improves the function or keeps it alike.
Referral to specialist
For all types of arthritis, one should be referred to a specialist in rheumatology. In the case of osteoarthritis in large joints such as hips and knees, orthopedists may assess whether there is a need for joint prosthesis. Infection in joints is also often treated by orthopedics.