Just Diagnosed with Joint Calcification? Here's What You Need to Know

Just Diagnosed with Joint Calcification? Here's What You Need to Know

Joint calcification is a condition that can cause severe bouts of pain, sometimes accompanied by stiffness, inflammation, and tenderness. The pain is often acute, and it comes and goes with no apparent cause. 

Calcium is found naturally throughout the body, giving strength to teeth and bones. However, some people may have more calcium floating around.

When calcium deposits are concentrated in the fluid surrounding the joints, it can cause irritation and inflammation. The calcium crystals are tiny but sharp, and they can cause microwounds, pain, and inflammation. 

Below, we asked Dr. Shoeb Mohiuddin, our expert at Regenerative Pain & Spine, to explain how joint calcification occurs and what can be done about it. 

What causes calcium buildup in the joints 

There are several types of calcium crystals found in the joints. Calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) crystals and apatite crystals are more likely to be caused by excess circulating calcium in the bloodstream, overactive parathyroid glands, and excess iron in the body. 

Specialists sometimes recommend vitamin K2 to remove excess calcium from tissues and send the calcium where it’s needed: in the bones. 

Deposits of calcium oxalates are a less common cause of joint calcification. They’re caused by a diet too high in oxalates (found in spinach, rhubarb, dark chocolate, coffee, beets, potatoes, and almonds) and an impaired ability to eliminate oxalates. 

How does joint calcification manifest itself? 

Over time, calcium deposits can cause wear-and-tear to the joints similar to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. You may end up suffering from chronic low-grade inflammation, pain, and swelling. 

Alongside undergoing treatments that manage pain and inflammation, finding the root cause of the calcium deposits is crucial to preventing the disease from progressing. There are no treatments that can dissolve the calcium crystals, but there are medications and therapies that can help with inflammation and pain.

If your symptoms are severe and your joints are swollen, you may benefit from a treatment that involves the use of a needle to extract some of the fluid inside your joints containing the calcium crystals. 

Blood tests and imaging techniques can sometimes rule out other conditions that may be causing pain. 

Get help for your painful joints 

Dr. Mohiuddin is an expert in managing pain, and he provides minimally invasive and noninvasive therapies such as shockwave therapy, injections, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and stem cells to promote tissue regeneration and reduce inflammation. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment at our office in the West Ridge neighborhood, Chicago, Illinois, to get expert advice on managing joint calcification.

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