Why Do My Joints Hurt and What Can I Do About It?

A joint is a place where two bones meet. Joints provide mobility to your bones and hips, shoulders, knees, and elbows. Joint pain is very common. According to a national study, about a third of adult Americans reported that they had joint pain at least once in the last 30 days. Joint pain can be provoked by various causes. Described below are the main causes of joint pain.

1. Age

Articular cartilages wear down over the years. The speed of cartilage degeneration depends on many factors, including heredity, weight, and the level of physical exertion on the joints. This condition is called osteoarthrosis. According to some reports, every third person over the age of 60 faces this problem.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis is a term that involves a large number of diseases that cause joint inflammation. One of them is rheumatoid arthritis. This is a long-term autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, pain, and swelling in the joints and other body organs. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs between the ages of 30 and 60. This disorder also includes deformation of the joints which usually occurs in the first two years. It’s incurable but it can be managed by the complex treatment that includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, arthritis PT treatment, and painkillers. 

3. Lupus

Lupus is an insidious disease that often damages different organs and tissues including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, blood cells, as well as joints. The most common symptom of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and the bridge of the nose. In addition, lupus is characterized by joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness. 

4. Gout

Gout is one of the types of arthritis which is caused by excess uric acid in the blood. It has been called the royal disease since European royalty consumed too much alcohol and red meat. Heavy meat and alcohol consumption causes high levels of uric acid in the blood that affect kidney function and accumulate in the joints. Other symptoms of gout include inflammation and redness of affected joints, limited range of motion, and kidney stones. 

5. Infectious Diseases

Such infection as flu may also cause joint pain. The virus actively spreads throughout the body, enters the synovial fluid, and causes inflammation of the joint capsule. Therefore, joint pain can be one of the symptoms of the flu. However, other viral and bacterial infections can also lead to joint aches and may even result in infectious arthritis.

6. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia that enter the human body from the salivary glands of an infected tick and cause inflammation of the joints. At first, Lyme disease manifests itself as pain and swelling, and then it can develop into arthritis and generally lead to limited mobility.

7. Strenuous  Workouts

Strenuous workouts can lead to bursitis (inflammation of the joint bag). Such activities as tennis, skiing, and golf increase the risk of bursitis due to repeated pressure on a joint. Bursitis can affect knees, buttocks, heels or elbows and always causes inflammation and swelling of the joint.  

8. Other Conditions

Joint pain can also accompany the following conditions:

  • hypothyroidism (a condition in which the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone) 
  • bone infections
  • neurological disorders 
  • fibromyalgia (a disease of unknown origin which is accompanied by acute musculoskeletal pains)
  • rickets
  • leukemia
  • sarcoidosis
  • bone cancer

Joint pain is always a weighty reason to consult a therapist. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and certain blood tests to find the cause of joint pain and plan the most appropriate treatment for your condition. 


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Written by Amelia Grant

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