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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Joint Pain
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Joint Pain

Alternate Names : Arthralgia, Pain in the Joints

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Joint pain is a common symptom with many possible causes.

What is going on in the body?

A joint is the place where two bones come together. For example, the knee joint is the place where the thigh bone and shin bone meet. Most people have one or more sore joints at some point in their lives. The joints of the arms and legs are most commonly affected.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many possible causes of joint pain. The causes can be divided into categories:

  • wear-and-tear, such as from overuse, injury, or osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, or joint inflammation.
  • conditions that affect metabolism, such as gout and pseudogout. These conditions result from materials being deposited into the joints.
  • infections of the joint, sometimes called septic arthritis. Infections usually spread to the joint from other areas of the body. Gonorrhea and syphilis, two sexually transmitted diseases, can cause joint pain. Lyme disease, an infection that results from a tick bite, and other infections can also cause arthritis.
  • autoimmune disorders, in which a person's body produces antibodies against its own tissues. These disorders include rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • reactive arthritis, which means joint pain and inflammation caused by infections in other areas of the body. This type of joint pain can result from infectious diarrhea or the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.
  • bone diseases, such as Paget's disease, which causes inflamed bones and bone tumors or cancer near joints.
  • medications, such as penicillin or procainamide
  • diseases, such as the flu
  • Other causes are also possible. In some cases, no cause can be found.


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    Joint Pain: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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