When Your Body Is Out of Joint

Got an ache you just can't take?
This will help you diagnose and treat it fast!

Where it Hurts: In your wrist, near the base of your thumb. The pain intensifies when you twist your hands.

What it is: De Quervain's disease, a form of tendinitis that's often caused by keeping your wrists locked in the same position for too long. (It's common in nursing moms.)

Treatment Tips: Take ibuprofen or naproxen, and see your doctor. She may recommend that you wear a flexible splint, or she may give you cortisone injections to reduce inflammation.

Where it Hurts: Either your shoulder or hip. The skin over the area may be red and swollen.

What it is: Bursitis. It's caused by the bursa (small, fluid-filled sacs between the tendon and bone) becoming inflamed or irritated due to repetitive movement.

Treatment Tips: Rest the area, and use ice and ibuprofen to reduce swelling. If the pain persists, your doctor may recommend cortisone injections.

    Where it Hurts: Your hand, fingers, and forearm. The areas feel numb, burn, or tingle.

    What it is: Carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when tendons in your wrist swell. Repetitive movements like typing often cause it, as does pregnancy.

    Treatment Tips: Use a "wrist rest" while typing; your doctor may recommend night splints. If you're pregnant, carpal tunnel syndrome usually clears up after you give birth.

      Where it Hurts: Your knee.

      What it is: Patellofemoral stress syndrome. You can get this when your kneecap moves slightly out of alignment and grates against your thighbone.

      Treatment Tips: Regularly ice and rest your knee, and take ibuprofen. Since weak inner thigh muscles can make it worse, strengthening exercises may help.

      Source: Barbara Campbell, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

        Copyright © 2005. Reprinted with permission from the June 2005 issue of Parents magazine.

          All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.