Joint Pain

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Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) and infection, and rarely it can be a cause of tumors of the joint. Pain within the joint is a common cause of shoulder pain, ankle pain, and knee pain. Joint pain is also referred to as arthralgia.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/2/2014

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

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Causes of Joint Pain
    • Ankle Pain Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within...learn more »
      In This Article
      Ankle Pain Article
      • Ankle pain and ankle tendinitis facts
      • How is the ankle designed, and what is the ankle's function?
      • What causes ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
      • What injuries can cause ankle pain, and how are they treated?
      • What diseases and conditions can cause ankle pain, and how are they treated?
      • What are associated symptoms and signs of ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
      • How are ankle pain and ankle tendinitis diagnosed?
      • What is the prognosis for ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
      • Is it possible to prevent ankle pain and ankle tendinitis?
    • Arthritis Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness...learn more »
      In This Article
      Arthritis Article
      • Arthritis facts
      • What is arthritis? What causes arthritis?
      • What are risk factors for arthritis?
      • What are arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • Who is affected by arthritis?
      • How is arthritis diagnosed, and why is a diagnosis important?
      • What is the treatment for arthritis?
      • Is there a special diet for arthritis?
      • What are the prognosis (outlook) for arthritis, and what are arthritis complications?
      • Can arthritis be prevented?
      • What is a rheumatologist?
      • What is the Arthritis Foundation?
    • Aseptic Necrosis Aseptic necrosis (avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis) is a condition that develops when blood supply diminishes to an area of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Aseptic Necrosis Article
      • Aseptic necrosis facts
      • What is aseptic necrosis?
      • What causes aseptic necrosis?
      • What are risk factors for aseptic necrosis?
      • What are symptoms of aseptic necrosis?
      • How is aseptic necrosis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for aseptic necrosis?
      • What is the prognosis of aseptic necrosis?
      • Can aseptic necrosis be prevented?
    • Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures such as compressed, open, stress, greenstick, spiral,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) Article
      • What is a broken bone (fracture)?
      • What causes a broken bone?
      • What are the most common types of broken bones?
      • Compression fracture
      • Skull fracture
      • Stress fracture
      • What are the most common bones that are broken?
      • Broken hand or fingers
      • Broken wrist
      • Broken hip
      • Broken leg
      • Broken toe
      • Broken shoulder
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a broken bone?
      • When should I call a doctor if I think I have broken a bone?
      • How is a broken bone diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a broken bone?
      • What about surgery for a broken bone?
      • How can fractures be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for a broken bone?
    • Bunions The common bunion, an enlargement of the inner portion of the joint at the base of the big toe, primarily affects women. The...learn more »
      In This Article
      Bunions Article
      • Bunions facts
      • What are bunions?
      • What are the causes of bunions?
      • Who develops bunions?
      • What are symptoms and signs of a bunion?
      • How is a bunion diagnosed?
      • How are bunions treated? Are there home remedies to treat bunions?
      • Can bunions be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis of a bunion?
    • Bursitis Bursae (one is a bursa) are fluid-filled sacs that cushion areas of friction between tendon and bone or skin. Like air-filled...learn more »
      In This Article
      Bursitis Article
      • Bursitis Overview
      • Bursitis Causes
      • Bursitis Symptoms and Signs
      • When to Seek Medical Care
      • Bursitis Diagnosis
      • Bursitis Treatment
      • Bursitis Home Remedies
      • Medical Treatment
      • Follow-up
      • Bursitis Prevention
      • Bursitis Prognosis
      • Bursitis Pictures
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that lasts 6 months or longer,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Article
      • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) facts
      • What is chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?
      • What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What are risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What are chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms in men?
      • What are chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms in women?
      • How is chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis (outcome) for chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • Can chronic fatigue syndrome be prevented?
      • Where can people find additional information about chronic fatigue syndrome?
    • Connective Tissue Disease Connective tissue disease is when the body's connective tissues come under attack, possibly becoming injured by inflammation....learn more »
      In This Article
      Connective Tissue Disease Article
      • What is a connective tissue disease?
      • What causes connective tissue disease?
      • What are symptoms and signs of a connective tissue disease?
      • How are connective tissue diseases diagnosed?
      • What are genetic risk factors for developing connective tissue disease?
      • What autoimmune diseases are associated with connective tissue disease?
    • Dengue Fever Dengue fever is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of dengue include headache, fever,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Dengue Fever Article
      • Dengue fever facts
      • What is dengue fever?
      • What geographic areas are at high risk for contracting dengue fever?
      • How is dengue fever contracted?
      • What are dengue fever symptoms and signs?
      • How is dengue fever diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for dengue fever?
      • What is the prognosis for typical dengue fever?
      • What is dengue hemorrhagic fever?
      • How can dengue fever be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information on dengue fever?
    • Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease or Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever) Ebola hemorrhagic fever (HF) is an often-fatal disease that causes fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, stomach...learn more »
      In This Article
      Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease or Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever) Article
      • Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola virus disease) facts
      • What is Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the history of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What are risk factors for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What are Ebola virus disease symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the treatment for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What are complications of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the prognosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • Is it possible to prevent Ebola hemorrhagic fever? Is there a vaccine for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the latest research on Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the latest news about the Ebola outbreak?
      • October 2014 news about the Ebola outbreak
      • September 2014 news about the Ebola outbreak
      • November 2014 news about the Ebola outbreak
    • Elbow Pain Elbow pain is most often the result of tendinitis, which can affect the inner or outer elbow. Treatment includes ice, rest, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Elbow Pain Article
      • Elbow pain facts
      • How is the elbow designed, and what is its function?
      • What injuries can cause elbow pain, and what are symptoms and signs of the causes of elbow pain?
      • What are diseases and conditions that can cause elbow pain, and how are they treated?
      • How is elbow pain diagnosed?
      • What are treatments for elbow pain?
      • What is the prognosis of elbow pain?
      • Can elbow pain be prevented?
    • Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress...learn more »
      In This Article
      Fibromyalgia Article
      • Fibromyalgia facts
      • What is fibromyalgia?
      • What causes fibromyalgia?
      • Is fibromyalgia hereditary?
      • What are risk factors for fibromyalgia?
      • What are fibromyalgia symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose fibromyalgia?
      • What is the treatment for fibromyalgia?
      • Are there any home remedies for fibromyalgia?
      • Does diet or exercise affect fibromyalgia?
      • What is the prognosis of fibromyalgia?
      • Is it possible to prevent fibromyalgia?
      • Are there support groups for fibromyalgia?
      • What is the latest research on fibromyalgia?
    • Fungal Arthritis Fungal arthritis is inflammation of a joint by a fungus that has invaded the body and is growing in the normally sterile joint....learn more »
      In This Article
      Fungal Arthritis Article
      • Fungal arthritis facts
      • What is fungal arthritis?
      • What causes fungal arthritis?
      • What are risks for developing fungal arthritis?
      • What are fungal arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • How is fungal arthritis diagnosed?
      • How is fungal arthritis treated?
      • What is the prognosis of fungal arthritis?
      • Can fungal arthritis be prevented?
    • Gout (Gouty Arthritis) Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Gout (Gouty Arthritis) Article
      • Gout facts
      • What is gout?
      • What causes gout?
      • What are risk factors for gout?
      • What are symptoms and signs of gout?
      • How is gout diagnosed?
      • When should gout be treated?
      • What is the treatment for gout?
      • Do gout medications have any side effects?
      • What foods should people with gout avoid?
      • What complications are associated with gout?
      • What is the prognosis of gout?
      • Is it possible to prevent gout?
      • What research is being done on gout?
    • Head and Neck Cancer Head and neck cancer is cancer of the oral cavity, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, or lymph...learn more »
      In This Article
      Head and Neck Cancer Article
      • Head and neck cancer facts*
      • What is cancer?
      • What kinds of cancers are considered cancers of the head and neck?
      • How common are head and neck cancers?
      • What causes head and neck cancers?
      • What are common symptoms of head and neck cancers?
      • How are head and neck cancers diagnosed?
      • What health professionals treat patients with head and neck cancers?
      • How are head and neck cancers treated?
      • Are clinical trials (research studies) available for patients with head and neck cancers?
      • What rehabilitation or support options are available for patients with head and neck cancers?
      • Is follow-up treatment necessary? What does it involve?
      • What can people who have had head and neck cancer do to reduce the risk of developing a second primary (new) cancer?
    • Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP or anaphylactoid purpura), a type of blood vessel inflammation, results in rash, arthritis, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Article
      • Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) facts
      • What is Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP)?
      • What causes HSP?
      • What are risk factors for HSP?
      • What are HSP symptoms and signs?
      • How is HSP diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for HSP?
      • What are complications of HSP?
      • What is the prognosis for patients with HSP?
      • Can HSP be prevented?
    • Hip Bursitis Bursitis of the hip results when the fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the hip becomes inflamed due to localized soft tissue trauma...learn more »
    • Iliotibial Band Syndrome Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury of the thigh and knee. Symptoms include knee pain and possible swelling. Treatment...learn more »
      In This Article
      Iliotibial Band Syndrome Article
      • Iliotibial band syndrome facts
      • What is iliotibial band syndrome?
      • What causes iliotibial band syndrome?
      • What are iliotibial band syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • How is iliotibial band syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for iliotibial band syndrome?
      • What stretches and exercises are beneficial for iliotibial band syndrome?
      • What exercises should be avoided with iliotibial band syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis for iliotibial band syndrome? Can iliotibial band syndrome be prevented?
      • Where can people find more information about iliotibial band syndrome?
    • Knee Bursitis Bursitis of the knee results when any of the three fluid-filled sacs (bursae) become inflamed due to injury or strain. Symptoms...learn more »
      In This Article
      Knee Bursitis Article
      • Knee bursitis facts
      • What is bursitis?
      • What is knee bursitis?
      • What are causes of knee bursitis?
      • What are knee bursitis symptoms and signs?
      • How is knee bursitis diagnosed?
      • How is prepatellar bursitis of the knee treated? Are there home remedies for knee bursitis?
      • What about the other knee bursae?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) of knee bursitis?
      • Can knee bursitis be prevented?
    • Knee Injury Knee injuries, especially meniscus tears, are common in contact sports. Symptoms and signs of a torn meniscus include knee pain,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Knee Injury Article
      • Knee injury facts
      • What are the different types of knee injuries?
      • What causes a knee injury?
      • What are risk factors for a knee injury?
      • What are knee injury symptoms and signs?
      • How is a knee injury diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a knee injury?
      • What exercises are recommended, and what exercises should be avoided during rehabilitation for a knee injury?
      • What is the recovery time for a knee injury?
      • What is the prognosis of a knee injury?
      • Can knee injuries be prevented?
    • Osteochondritis Dissecans With osteochondritis dissecans, bone and its adjacent cartilage loses its blood supply. Though osteochondritis dissecans can...learn more »
      In This Article
      Osteochondritis Dissecans Article
      • Osteochondritis dissecans facts
      • What is osteochondritis dissecans?
      • What causes osteochondritis dissecans?
      • What are symptoms of osteochondritis dissecans?
      • How is osteochondritis dissecans diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment of osteochondritis dissecans?
      • What is the prognosis of osteochondritis dissecans?
      • Can osteochondritis dissecans be prevented?
    • Plant Thorn Synovitis Plant thorn synovitis (plant thorn arthritis) is joint inflammation caused by a thorn puncturing the joint and leaving residual...learn more »
      In This Article
      Plant Thorn Synovitis Article
      • Plant thorn arthritis facts
      • What is plant thorn arthritis?
      • What plants cause plant thorn arthritis?
      • What joints are typically involved in plant thorn arthritis?
      • What are plant thorn arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • How is plant thorn arthritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for plant thorn arthritis?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) of plant thorn arthritis?
    • Pseudogout Pseudogout, a form of arthritis, results when deposits of crystals collect in and around the joints. Symptoms of pseudogout...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pseudogout Article
      • Pseudogout facts
      • What is pseudogout?
      • What are causes of pseudogout?
      • What are risk factors for pseudogout?
      • What are pseudogout symptoms and signs?
      • How does a doctor diagnose pseudogout?
      • What are treatments for pseudogout?
      • What other conditions can accompany pseudogout?
      • Are there special circumstances that can promote attacks of pseudogout?
      • What are complications of pseudogout?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) of pseudogout?
      • Can pseudogout be prevented?
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rheumatoid Arthritis Article
      • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) facts
      • What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • What are causes and risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • What are complications of rheumatoid disease?
      • How do physicians diagnose rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • "First-line" rheumatoid arthritis medications
      • "Second-line" or "slow-acting" rheumatoid arthritis drugs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDs)
      • What are newer treatments for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis diet and other treatments
      • What about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What research is being done on rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Where can people get additional information on rheumatoid arthritis?
    • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain) Sacroiliac joint (SI) dysfunction is a general term to reflect pain in the SI joints. Causes of SI joint pain include...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain) Article
      • What are the sacroiliac (SI) joints?
      • What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
      • What are the causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
      • What are sacroiliac joint dysfunction symptoms?
      • How is sacroiliac joint dysfunction diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
      • How can sacroiliac joint dysfunction be prevented?
    • SAPHO Syndrome SAPHO syndrome is a chronic disorder that involves the skin, bone, and joints. SAPHO syndrome is an eponym for the combination of...learn more »
      In This Article
      SAPHO Syndrome Article
      • SAPHO syndrome facts
      • What is SAPHO syndrome?
      • What causes SAPHO syndrome, and what are risk factors for developing it?
      • Is SAPHO syndrome related to other joint conditions?
      • What are symptoms and signs of SAPHO syndrome?
      • How is SAPHO syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for SAPHO syndrome?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with SAPHO syndrome?
      • Can SAPHO syndrome be prevented?
    • Septic Arthritis Septic arthritis, or infectious arthritis, is infection of one or more joints by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Symptoms and signs...learn more »
      In This Article
      Septic Arthritis Article
      • Septic arthritis facts
      • What is septic arthritis?
      • What microbes cause septic arthritis?
      • Who is at risk of developing septic arthritis?
      • What are symptoms and signs of septic arthritis?
      • How do physicians diagnose septic arthritis?
      • How is septic arthritis treated?
      • What are complications of septic arthritis?
      • What is the prognosis of septic arthritis?
      • Is it possible to prevent septic arthritis?
    • Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia) Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell disease), a blood disease which shortens life expectancy, is cause by an inherited abnormal...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia) Article
      • Sickle cell anemia facts
      • What is sickle cell anemia?
      • How is sickle cell anemia inherited?
      • What conditions promote the sickling (distortion) of the red blood cells in sickle cell anemia?
      • How is sickle cell anemia diagnosed?
      • What are the symptoms and treatments of sickle cell anemia?
      • What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with sickle cell anemia?
    • Sjogren's Syndrome Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease involving the abnormal production of extra antibodies that attack the glands and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sjogren's Syndrome Article
      • Sjögren's syndrome facts
      • What is Sjögren's syndrome?
      • What causes Sjögren's syndrome?
      • What are risk factors for developing Sjögren's syndrome?
      • What are Sjögren's syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • How is Sjögren's syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for Sjögren's syndrome? Will dietary changes improve Sjögren's syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • What are complications of Sjögren's syndrome?
      • Can Sjögren's syndrome be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for patients with Sjögren's syndrome?
      • Conclusion
    • Sprains and Strains An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sprains and Strains Article
      • Muscle sprains and strains facts
      • What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
      • What causes a sprain or strain?
      • Where do sprains and strains usually occur?
      • What are sprain symptoms and signs?
      • How are sprains and strains diagnosed?
      • How are sprains and strains treated?
      • What is the recovery time for sprains and strains?
      • Can sprains and strains be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis of sprains and strains?
      • Where can people find more information about sprains and strains?
    • STDs in Men Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria,...learn more »
      In This Article
      STDs in Men Article
      • What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
      • Who is at risk for STDs?
      • What causes STDs?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of STDs?
      • List of STDs in men
      • Chlamydia
      • Gonorrhea
      • Trichomoniasis
      • HIV
      • Genital herpes
      • Genital warts (HPV)
      • Hepatitis
      • Syphilis
      • How are STDs diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for STDs?
      • What is the prognosis for STDs?
      • Can STDs be prevented?
    • Steroid Drug Withdrawal Corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone and prednisolone are commonly used to treat asthma, allergic reactions, RA, and IBD....learn more »
      In This Article
      Steroid Drug Withdrawal Article
      • Steroid withdrawal facts
      • Introduction
      • What are steroid withdrawal symptoms?
      • Discontinuing steroids
    • Torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear) The anterior cruciate ligament helps to prevent the top and bottom of the knee from sliding back and forth. Symptoms and signs of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear) Article
      • Torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) facts
      • What is the function of the knee joint?
      • What is a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)?
      • What causes a torn ACL?
      • What are symptoms and signs of a torn ACL?
      • How is a torn ACL diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a torn ACL?
      • How long does it take to recover from a torn ACL?
      • What is the prognosis of a torn ACL?
      • Can ACL tears be prevented?
    • Torn Meniscus A torn meniscus (knee cartilage) may be caused by suddenly stopping, sharply twisting, or deep squatting or kneeling when lifting...learn more »
    • Typhus Typhus is a disease caused by Rickettsia bacteria. Symptoms and signs include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Typhus Article
      • Typhus facts
      • What is typhus? Are there different types of typhus?
      • What is the history of typhus?
      • What causes typhus? How is typhus transmitted?
      • What are typhus risk factors?
      • What are typhus symptoms and signs?
      • How is typhus diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for typhus?
      • What is the prognosis of typhus?
      • Can typhus be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information about typhus?
Other Causes of Joint Pain
Examples of Medications for Joint Pain


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List