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Joint pain

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: 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 ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Joint pain:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Joint pain. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Joint pain: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Common Causes of Joint pain

Home Diagnostic Testing and Joint pain

Home medical tests possibly related to Joint pain:

Causes of Types of Joint pain:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Joint pain:

Review causes of types of Joint pain in more specific categories:

Review causes of more specific types of Joint pain:

Joint pain: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Joint pain, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

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, ...Joint pain Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Joint pain may include:

Review further information on Joint pain Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Joint pain

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Joint pain may include:

Stories from Users for Joint pain

Real-life user stories relating to Joint pain:

Message Boards for Joint pain

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Joint pain or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Joint pain:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Joint pain. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination
    • A systematic examination of the affected joint or joints looking for signs of inflammation, deformity, swelling and reduced range of motion - e.g. tenderness and warmth indicates inflammation; redness of the skin over the joint indicates gout, pseudogout, rheumatic fever or septic arthritis.
    • Note the pattern of the joints affected which can assist in diagnosis
    • Full physical examination looking for signs of systemic disease that can predispose or present with joint pain - e.g. rash and pitted nails of psoriasis; Raynaud's phenomenon of systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus; doughnut-shaped rash of Lyme disease; butterfly rash of systemic lupus erythematosus; abdominal tenderness of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; heart murmur of rheumatic fever or subacute bacterial endocarditis.
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count, ESR and CRP
    • Renal function tests and Electrolytes
  • more tests...»

Joint pain: Animations

Medications or substances causing Joint pain:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Joint pain as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Joint pain:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Joint pain as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Lopurin (Allopurinol) and Accupril (Quinapril) interaction
  • Lopurin (Allopurinol) and Altace (Ramipril) interaction
  • Lopurin (Allopurinol) and Capoten (Captopril) interaction
  • Lopurin (Allopurinol) and Lotensin (Benazepril) interaction
  • Lopurin (Allopurinol) and Monopril (Fosinopril) interaction
  • more interactions...»

Joint pain: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Joint pain may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Joint pain

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Joint pain:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Joint pain. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Joint pain Assessment Questionnaire (36 listings)

Joint pain: Deaths

Read more about causes and Joint pain deaths.

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 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. See introduction 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, there are also various other causes. See causes of leg cramps or misdiagnosis 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 condition tends to be overlooked, even in patients 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 more »

Joint pain: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Joint pain: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Organs affected by Joint pain:

The list of organs typically affected by Joint pain may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Joint pain

The list below shows some of the causes of Joint pain mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Joint pain?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Joint pain. Of the 773 causes of Joint pain that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 12 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 21 causes are "common" diseases
  • 13 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 1 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 37 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 715 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Joint pain:

The following list of conditions have 'Joint pain' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Joint pain or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y #


























Conditions listing medical complications: Joint pain:

The following list of medical conditions have Joint pain or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.







  • Gonorrhea ... gonococcal arthritis
  • Gout ... arthritis, joint immobility














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Medical story forums: If you have a medical story then we want to hear it.

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Causes of Joint pain Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Joint pain based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Joint pain?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Joint pain, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    Classifications of Joint pain:

    Subtypes of Joint pain:

    Aching joints (46 causes), Severe joint pain (6 causes), Joint tenderness (81 causes), Arthritis (224 causes), Arthritis-like symptoms (764 causes), Gouty arthritis (9 causes), Rheumatoid arthritis (17 causes), Osteoarthritis (29 causes), Symptoms resembling arthritis (10 causes), Charcot joint (8 causes), Stiff joints (258 causes), Inflammatory joint effusion (7 causes), Non inflammatory joint effusion (6 causes), Joint redness (30 causes), Mild arthritis symptoms (5 causes), Haemorrhagic joint effusion (5 causes), Migratory arthritis (18 causes), Heberden's nodes (1 cause), Joint swelling (128 causes), Arthrogryposis (47 causes), Foot arch pain similar to arthritis (3 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Joint pain:

    Pain (6458 causes), Arthritis-like symptoms (764 causes), Joint symptoms (1430 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Pain symptoms (6458 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Skeletal symptoms (4109 causes), Musculoskeletal symptoms (6264 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Inflammatory symptoms (1736 causes)

    Symptoms related to Joint pain:

    Joint symptoms (1430 causes), Joint weakness, Red joints (30 causes), Swollen joints, Joint hypermobility (50 causes), Muscle pain (956 causes), Muscle weakness (4300 causes), Ankle pain (56 causes), Knee pain (122 causes), Knuckle pain (16 causes), Joint stiffness (258 causes), Osteoarthritis (29 causes), Rheumatoid arthritis (17 causes), Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, Rheumatism, Reiter's syndrome, Psoriatic arthritis, Gonococcal arthritis, Inflammatory bowel syndrome

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Joint pain

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Joint pain and many other medical conditions:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Joint Pain:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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