Joint Pain: Introduction
Joint pain is the sensation of discomfort, inflammation, soreness, achiness, or stiffness in a joint or joints of the body. Joints are the spaces or areas where two or more bones meet. Joint pain is a symptom of a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. Joint pain can result from infection, trauma, malignancy, autoimmune diseases, and other abnormal processes.
Joint pain can indicate a relatively benign condition, such as mild sprain. Joint pain can be the result of a moderate condition, disorder or disease, such as bursitis, ankylosing spondylitis, a moderate ligament sprain, or a dislocation. Joint pain can also accompany serious conditions that can even be life-threatening. These include rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia or bone cancer.
Depending on the cause, the joint pain can be short-term and disappear quickly, such as when joint pain occurs after lying down for an extended period of time then resolves after moving around.
Joint pain can also occur suddenly and severely, such the joint pain that happens in a shoulder dislocation. Joint pain can also be chronic and ongoing over a long period of time, such as when joint pain is due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Joint pain can be the result of a wide variety of traumatic conditions, including ligament sprains, joint separation, contusions, sports injuries and dislocations. Other traumatic injuries that cause joint pain include tennis elbow, swimmer's shoulder, torn cartilage torn ligaments and sprained ankle.
Chronic degenerative conditions that cause joint pain include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is also an autoimmune disorder. Infectious diseases and conditions that can cause joint pain include septic arthritis and rheumatic fever.
Joint pain often occurs in conjunction with other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Other symptoms can include swelling or edema of the joint, inflammation and redness, and fever. Complications of joint pain can be progressive and vary depending on the underlying cause. For more details about symptoms and complications, see symptoms of joint pain.
Diagnosing joint pain and its root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination.
Making a diagnosis also includes performing a variety of other tests to help to determine potential underlying diseases, conditions or disorders, such as joint separations, arthritis and bone cancer. Depending on the suspected cause, tests can include blood tests, culture and sensitivity of synovial fluid (joint fluid), and imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT scan, nuclear scans, and MRI.
A diagnosis of joint pain and its cause can easily be delayed or missed because joint pain may be mild and for other reasons. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of joint pain.
Treatment of joint pain involves diagnosing and treating the underlying disease, disorder or condition that is causing it. Some conditions can be easily and successfully treated and cured, while others may require more intensive treatment and may not have an optimal prognosis. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of joint pain. ...more »
Joint Pain: Symptoms
The sensation of joint pain can be experienced and expressed in many ways. Joint pain is often described as occurring with or without movement and can be severe enough to limit movement. People may describe a discomfort, inflammation, increased warmth or burning, soreness, stiffness or pain.
Joint pain can be short-lived and disappear quickly, such as when mild ...more symptoms »
Joint Pain: Treatments
Treatment plans for joint pain are individualized depending on the underlying cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and medical history of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the cause, minimizes the discomfort of joint pain, decreases the risk of developing serious complications, and helps ...more treatments »
Joint Pain: Misdiagnosis
Diagnosing joint pain and its cause may be delayed or missed because in some cases, joint pain may not be severe enough for a person to seek medical care. In addition, diagnosing the underlying or associated disease, disorder or condition can be delayed because noticeable symptoms, such as joint pain, may not occur immediately, such as in rheumatoid arthritis or bone cancer.
Joint ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Joint Pain
Read more about symptoms of Joint Pain
Treatments for Joint Pain
Read more about treatments for Joint Pain
Home Diagnostic Testing
Home medical testing related to Joint Pain:
- Nerve Neuropathy: Related Home Testing:
Wrongly Diagnosed with Joint Pain?
Joint Pain: Deaths
Read more about Deaths and Joint Pain.
Alternative Treatments for Joint Pain
Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Joint Pain may include:
Joint Pain: Complications
Read more about complications of Joint Pain.
Causes of Joint Pain
Read more about causes of Joint Pain.
More information about causes of Joint Pain:
Joint Pain: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:
- Nerve Disorders: serious diseases commonly undiagnosed:
- Chronic Pain Disorders -- serious medical disorders that may be undiagnosed:
- more undiagnosed conditions...»
Misdiagnosis and Joint Pain
Rare undiagnosed iron disorder causes various severe conditions: The rare "iron overload" disorder, hemochromatosis,
can cause a variety of symptoms and result in various severe conditions that mimic several
of...read more »
Rare form of juvenile arthritis undiagnosed: The disease rheumatoid arthritis (i.e. juvenile arthritis)
is fairly well known.
But there is a rare form known as Still's disease that can remain an undiagnosed
of arthritis-like symptoms....read more »
Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps,
particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes.
However...read more »
Psoriatic arthritis often undiagnosed cause of joint conditions: Patients with the skin condition psoriasis
can also have the related arthritis subtype called "psoriatic arthritis".
This arthritic...read more »
Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency
is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis).
See symptoms...read more »
Read more about Misdiagnosis and Joint Pain
Joint Pain: Research Doctors & Specialists
Research related physicians and medical specialists:
- Bone, Joint and Orthopedic Specialists:
- Nerve Specialists:
- Pain Specialists:
- Arthritis & Joint Health Specialists (Rheumatology):
- more specialists...»
Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:
Joint Pain: Animations
More Joint Pain animations & videos
Research about Joint Pain
Visit our research pages for current research about Joint Pain treatments.
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