Joint pain: causes, symptoms, treatment

causes of joint pain

Joint pain (arthralgia) is an important symptom in the diagnosis of various diseases. She was the first to say that serious changes had begun at the junction of the bones.

Usually with arthralgia there is no swelling, curvature, severe pain when feeling, redness. Significant restrictions on mobilitylarge jointsthe patient also does not complain. It also happens that even an X-ray does not allow us to see signs of inflammation. But this does not make arthralgia (joint pain) innocent.symptom:can signal severe organic lesions and even diseases that are not related to the condition of the joint itself.

As the statistics show,painvput on your handsand every second person over the age of 40 begins to have restless legs. For those who have passed the 70-year stage,diseasesthe musculoskeletal system is even more common - in 90% of cases.

Causes of joint pain

One of the mainreasonsthe problem is infectionsharpinfection.Painpain can occur both before the first symptoms of the disease and in its early stages. With an infectious lesionpainall joints of the body. . . Their mobility is preserved.

Post-infectioussharpjoint pain is felt after:

  • urogenital infections;
  • intestinal diseases.

Causes of the disease also include: secondary syphilis, tuberculosis, endocarditis. If the human body has foci of chronic infections - in the bile ducts, kidneys, pelvic organs, with parasitic infections - it can alsojoint pain. . .

Arthralgia (joint pain) often confirms the presence of rheumatic diseases. In this case, the pain syndrome is associated with changes in weather conditions. More often the patient experiences severe discomfort in the large joints of the lower extremities. In the morning he suffers from the fact that he can not get up immediately and walk fast - due to pain and a feeling of stiffness in the joints.

If the pain is paroxysmal, it occurs unexpectedly, intensifies during the day and lasts for several days untilpainonly one joint may be suspected, gouty arthritis (uric acid crystals accumulate in the joint structures).

If the pain grows very slowly, affecting large joints that are under stress (most often knee or hip), increasing with exercise and / or accompanied by morning stiffness, we can assume the development of osteoarthritis (the old name of osteoarthritis), ie, degenerative-dystrophic processes in the joint.

Common causes of joint pain:

  • pathology of the thyroid gland;
  • time dependence;
  • heavy metal poisoning;
  • frequent physical injuries;
  • long-term use of certain drugs;

Classification of joint pain

There are several classifications of joint pain. According to the localization criterion there are:

  • monoarthralgia (only one joint is affected);
  • oligoarthralgia (injurysimultaneously differentjoints - but not more than five);
  • polyarthralgia (discomfort is present in more than 5 joints of the body).

Also, taking into account the location of the joints, arthralgias are common and localized. By the nature of the lesion, the pathology can be non-inflammatory and inflammatory.

Pain, which manifests itself in diseases of the musculoskeletal system, is conditionally divided into:

  • start (appear at the very beginning of the movement);
  • mechanical (consequence of exercise, long walks, running);
  • reflected (marked in areas where there are actually no pathological changes);
  • night (disturbed during a night's rest).

More joint pain can be:

  • dull and sharp;
  • permanent and transient;
  • weak, moderate and intense.

Post-inflammatory and pseudo-arthralgias are divided into separate groups.

Diagnosis of joint pain

To understandwhy the joints of the legs hurt,hands, the doctor prescribes the patient to undergo a series of diagnostic procedures. To begin with, laboratory tests are taken:

  • General blood test. It makes it possible to detect abnormalities, taking into account the nature of the joint lesion and the degree of its severity. Increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate, confirming the presence of inflammation, with a normal white blood cell count is a sign of rheumatic pathology. If, on the contrary, the leukocytes are increased, the pain predominates in the spine and individual joints, most likely the nature of the disease is infectious.
  • Blood chemistry. In inflammation of the joints, the levels of C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, total protein, seromucoid, diphenylamine reaction, as well as some other indicators that confirm the rheumatic diagnosis are examined.

In addition, the following examinations may be scheduled:

  • Radiography. It is mandatory for painful joints, as the doctor can not make a differential diagnosis and assess the degree of damage to the skeletal system without photos.
  • CT scan. It is used to study the location of inflamed areas.
  • Immunoelectrophoresis. An additional type of diagnosis showing how far rheumatoid arthritis has spread.
  • Arthroscopy. During the procedure, a specialist visually examines the structure of the knee joint, its structure and takes a tissue sample from the desired area.
  • Radionuclide scanning. Effective in the early stages of joint disease.
  • Arthrography. The doctor injects special contrast agents inside the joint (contrast may not be used). The change in the initial picture allows him to assess the presence of affected areas in hard-to-reach parts of the joint.

If the doctor deems it necessary, a biopsy is done.

Treatment of joint pain

Treatmentarthralgia will be effective only if doctors determine the cause of the symptom, determine the development of which disease signals. To relieve the patient's inflammation, the following may be prescribed:

  • Chondoprotectors. They slow the progression of osteoarthritis, block further destruction of articular cartilage and reduce inflammation. Examples of such drugs in this group are combined preparations containing 2 components cartilage, chondroitin and glucosamine in therapeutic doses, chondroitin sulfate 1200 mg, glucosamine 1500 mg, capsule release form. These components activate the regenerative processes in the cartilage, due to which the pain gradually disappears, the patient's condition improves.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Eliminate pain, prevent the spread of inflammatory reactions. Normalizes body temperature.
  • Muscle relaxants. Designed to minimize skeletal muscle stiffness.
  • Antibacterial drugs. It is used in arthritis of an infectious nature.
  • Vitamin and mineral complexes. Vitamins A, E, C, group B are necessary for the normal functioning of the joints and their early recovery. Selenium, calcium and others are also important.
  • Hormones, steroids. They are used if the joint is severely inflamed and drug treatment is ineffective.

Along with taking tablets, intramuscular and intravenous drugs, the patient may be prescribed warming, analgesic and anti-inflammatory ointments.

If the pain is unbearable, a nerve block can occur. During the procedure, powerful drugs are used to help forget about the symptoms of arthralgia for a long time.

Additional methods of treating joint pain include:

  • physiotherapy exercises;
  • massage;
  • manual therapy;
  • mechanotherapy;
  • adhesion of the joints with special equipment;
  • diet.

The patient's physiotherapy procedures show:

  • Shock wave therapy;
  • ozone therapy;
  • phonophoresis;
  • myostimulation and some others.


In difficult cases, it is impossible to eliminate the discomfort in one or more joints at once with the help of non-invasive methods. The patient is then advised to undergo surgery. This can be:

  • Arthroscopic debridement. The surgeon makes small incisions and uses them to remove dead tissue from the joint cavity. The operation involves the use of modern endoscopic equipment.
  • Puncture. Using a special needle, the doctor draws the accumulated fluid from the joint.
  • Periarticular osteotomy. To reduce the load and improve the mobility of the affected joint, the doctor cuts the joint bones so that they grow together at a certain angle.
  • Endoprosthesis. A very serious operation that is used only if it is no longer possible to restore the joint. Then a prosthesis is installed instead.

The doctor decides which method of treating joint pain is indicated for a particular patient on an individual basis, taking into account age, history, symptoms and some other factors.


To avoid damage to the joints, you should pay maximum attention to proper nutrition. All essential vitamins and minerals should be present in the daily diet. Junk food should be discarded. It is necessary to drink about 2 liters of clean drinking water a day - this has a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system.

It is also important:

  • do not overcool;
  • to lead an active lifestyle;
  • to give up bad habits;
  • sleeps at least 8 hours a day;
  • take regular walks in the fresh air;
  • avoid staying in one position for a long time.

If there is discomfort in the joint, it is necessary to undergo an examination. It is impossible to self-medicate if an inflammatory process is suspected.