Arthralgia is the term for pain in or around the joint. It is a symptom, not a disease. This pain may affect 1 or more joints. In some cases, the pain moves from joint to joint.

There are many causes for joint pain. These include:

  • Injury

  • Wearing out the joint surface (osteoarthritis)

  • Inflammation of the joint because of crystals in the joint fluid (gout)

  • Infection inside the joint  

  • Inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs around the joint (bursitis)

  • Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

  • Inflammation of chords that attach muscle to bone (tendonitis)

Home care

  • Rest the affected joints until your symptoms improve. 

  • Eat a healthy diet, exercise as advised by your healthcare provider, and stay at a healthy weight

  • You may be prescribed pain medicine. If none is prescribed, you may use acetaminophen or ibuprofen to control pain and inflammation.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider or as advised.

When to get medical care

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Pain, swelling, or redness of joint increases

  • Pain that gets worse or comes back after some improvement

  • Pain moves to other joints

  • You can't bear weight on the affected joint 

  • You can't move the affected joint

  • Joint looks deformed

  • New rash appears

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as advised by your provider

  • New symptoms appear

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