Joint pain can significantly affect the quality of life, and make everyday leisure & work activities.
The signs that joint pain (arthralgia) is caused by arthritis are limited joint function, stiff, swollen, red, or warm joints (indicating inflammation), and tenderness of the joint. If there is a systemic cause for arthralgia, additional symptoms can include fever, swollen lymph glands, fatigue, weight loss, & feeling unwell in general.
If you are experiencing joint pain, the doctor will examine you and may recommend imaging such as MRI, x-ray or ultrasound to aid in diagnosis. You will receive advice on pain management and, where relevant, a referral to a specialist or physiotherapist.
Joint pain is a very common occurrence, usually caused by arthritis, ageing, or injury to the surrounding structure of the joint such as ligaments, bursae, tendons or muscles.
If arthralgia is happening in just a single joint on one side of the body, it is more likely due to injury, osteoarthritis, gout, or inflammation, whereas bilateral pain tends to indicate a systemic condition, usually some form of arthritis (such as psoriatic or rheumatoid).
Causes of joint pain include:
- Osteoarthritis (one or many joints may be affected)
- Inflammation (usually due to injury)
- Damage to the kneecap
- Gout (often starts in the big toe, with pain coming in waves)
- Arthritis – reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis
- Connective tissue disease (scleroderma or lupus)
- Viral infection (rubella, viral hepatitis)
In very rare cases, arthralgia is linked to haemophilia, cancer, or septic arthritis.
What to do next?
Please use our online booking form, or give us a call during office hours to make an appointment with one of our doctors, who can get you a diagnosis & discuss your options for treatment.