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Alternative Names Return to topStiffness in a joint; Pain - joints; Arthralgia
Definition Return to top
Joint pain can affect one or more joints.
Considerations Return to top
Joint pain can be caused by many types of injuries or conditions. No matter what causes it, joint pain can be very bothersome.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes stiffness and pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis involves growth of bone spurs and degeneration of cartilage at a joint. It is very common in adults older than 45 and can cause joint pain.
Joint pain may also be caused by bursitis (inflammation of the bursae). The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion and pad bony prominences, allowing muscles and tendons to move freely over the bone.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Follow prescribed therapy in treating the underlying cause.
For nonarthritis joint pain, both rest and exercise are important. Warm baths, massage, and stretching exercises should be used as frequently as possible.
Anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain and swelling. Consult your health care provider before giving aspirin or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to children.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask you about your medical history. The following questions may help identify the cause of your joint pain:
Physical therapy for muscle and joint rehabilitation may be recommended. A procedure called arthrocentesis may be needed to remove fluid from the sore joint.Update Date: 4/24/2008 Updated by: Neil J. Gonter, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University, NY and private practice specializing in Rheumatology at Rheumatology Associates of North Jersey, Teaneck, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.