Irving Primary Care

Joint Swelling: Causes and Treatment

Joint swelling typically happens when the amount of fluid in the tissues around a joint increases. Stiffness and pain or even both might also occur along with the swelling of the joints. The affected area may seem bigger or might form an irregular shape. This is a usual reaction of your body with various kinds of injuries, infections and arthritis.  

Causes of Swollen Joints

The following are some of the reasons your joints are swollen:


Known as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, osteoarthritis occurs after an injury or due to aging. The cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones start wearing down which also results in joint swelling. The swelling typically happens in the joints that have been bearing weight throughout your life, for instance spine, feet, hips and knees.  

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

This is known as the inflammatory arthritis which may occur regardless of age. This leads to swollen, stiff and painful joins. Typically this arthritis affects the knees, feet and hands and in some cases might affect other joints and body parts.  


Gout is another type of arthritis which results in severe swelling and pain in the joints, as well as redness and warmth, mostly on your big toe. The pain can become so bad that even your bed sheets’ weight can become distressful. Gout initiates in one joint but can gradually affect other joints as well.

Ankylosing Spondylitis 

Ankylosing Spondylitis occurs mostly at your spine’s base where it connects with the pelvis. This can cause swelling and pain.  

Psoriatic Arthritis 

This inflammatory disease is often associated with the skin condition, psoriasis. More than 30% of individuals suffering from psoriasis start developing psoriatic arthritis.

Joint Injuries

Injuries near your joint can cause stiffness, swelling and pain in the joints. In some cases, joint pain can be as a result of fractures, sprains, strains, dislocations, tendonitis, bursitis, ligaments and tendons around the joint, as well as torn and injured muscles.  

Treatment for Swollen Joints

The treatment of joint swelling depends on the cause of this symptom:

In case of an injury, you can try out various home remedies that can help in reducing the swelling.

  • Apply cold or ice pack on the affected area for about 10 minutes to relief the swelling.
  • Use a wrap or elastic bandage to compress the joint.
  • When resting, elevate the affected area.
  • Take over the counter medication for pain and swelling.

It is recommended that you avoid putting or moving weight on the affected area for a certain period of time. Try doing a few simple exercises for the affected area to ensure it doesn’t get immobilize as it can deteriorate the motion range and muscle strength of the joint. However, it is also important that you give your injury time to heal.  

In case of a chronic condition, like lupus or osteoarthritis, it is best to consult your doctor for a treatment plan. They will prescribe therapy, medications and other treatments to help you in relieving the symptoms and regain your health.  

If you would like an appointment with Dr. Shalin Parikh at Health One Family Medicine please visit or call (469)262-5762.