Joint Effusion

Joint effusion is swelling in the joints that occur as a result of an increase of fluid in the surrounding tissue. It is a common symptom of infections, injuries, and arthritis—specifically osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, infectious arthritis, and gout. The most common symptoms of joint effusion include a deep, achy pain; skin that is warm to the touch; joint stiffness; and immobility of the joint. Because swollen joints are often a symptom of a more serious condition, it’s imperative to identify the cause before beginning treatment. However, in many cases, rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help to reduce swelling and pain. If pain persists, heat therapy may be helpful in increasing blood flow to the area and reducing stiffness. It is important to limit aggravating activities while still performing gentle movements to avoid stiffness from becoming worse. However, this will all depend on the cause of the joint effusion.