Why do the joints of the arms and legs hurt?

Why do joints hurt? With such a question, a large number of patients go to the doctor or try to find the answer themselves. Unfortunately, this complaint is not specific and may indicate pathology with different mechanisms and causes of development.

We will try to identify the most common causes of joint pain and understand how to treat common diseases.


pain in the joints of the arms and legs

Before analyzing the immediate causes of pain, it is worth learning in particular about the symptoms of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The doctor, starting a diagnostic search, will understand exactly how the joints hurt - so the specialist will quickly find the causes of the disease.

By the nature of the sensations, the pain can be:

  • Pain.
  • Cutting.
  • Bursting.
  • Compressive.

Pain in the joints of the arms and legs are of varying intensity. Painful, mild pain indicates chronic illness. If the joints hurt a lot, the sensations do not allow to perform movements, then the process is sharp.

Rhythm of pain

pain in the shoulder and joints of the arms and legs

The symptoms of all diseases of the joints of the hands and feet can be divided according to the rhythm of pain: mechanical or inflammatory. Mechanical pain has the following characteristics:

  • It grows in the evening.
  • Morning stiffness is not typical.
  • It is strongly felt after training.
  • At rest the pain is painful or completely absent.
  • Starting - a certain type of pain at the beginning of the movement.

The rhythm of inflammation is characteristic of synovitis of the joints of the hands and feet of various origins. The symptoms are as follows:

  • Morning stiffness of the body or certain parts of the arms and legs for more than 30 minutes.
  • The pain intensifies at night and early in the morning.
  • With the movements the symptoms become less intense, the stiffness of the body disappears.
  • In this rhythm of pain from body stiffness and pain, anti-inflammatory drugs work well.

Other symptoms

Pain in the joints of the arms and legs, depending on the cause of development, is accompanied by certain manifestations. Why joint pain occurs can often be determined by additional symptoms:

  • Restricted movement of arms or legs.
  • Stiffness of the limbs.
  • Swelling of the joints of the arms and legs (swelling of the elbow joint).
  • Local fever and redness of the skin.
  • General weakness, fever.
  • Visible skin lesions on the arms, legs, torso.
  • Manifestations by other authorities.

Depending on what symptoms accompany the pain in the joints of the arms and legs, the doctor will determine why the disease occurred.

Diseases of the joints

sore joints in the legs and arms

Pain in the joints of the arms and legs can be caused by diseases that are completely different in origin and mechanism of development. However, the most common causes of such symptoms can be identified:

  1. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of cartilage and bone tissue. The pain in the joints is mechanical in nature, in the period of exacerbation joins the inflammatory component.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease associated with the attack of the joint by the body's own cells of the immune system. Joint pain has a pronounced inflammatory rhythm.
  3. Reactive arthritis is an inflammation caused by an infection in another organ. It is common in hepatitis and urinary tract infections.
  4. Infectious arthritis - associated with the entry of microbes into the joint.
  5. Injuries and fractures. The diagnosis is not difficult due to the presence of trauma in the anamnesis.
  6. Damage to ligaments and intra-articular formations. The soft structures of the joints also cause joint pain when damaged.
  7. Rheumatic diseases. A large group of causes of autoimmune damage to the joints: systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatism, Bechterew's disease, Reiter's syndrome and others.
  8. Gout and other metabolic arthropathies. Often the symptoms of damage to the musculoskeletal system are associated with the deposition of various pathological substances in the joints. In gout, they are salts of uric acid.
  9. Psoriatic arthritis - the cause of this disease is unknown. The body's own antibodies affect the tissues of the joints, internal organs and skin. A common manifestation of the disease is dermatitis - peeling of the skin on the extensor surfaces of the limbs.

This list presents the most common causes of diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Joint pain can also be caused by vascular disorders and neurological diseases. The attending physician must determine the ultimate cause.

Diseases of the knee joints

Knee pain is one of the most commonly reported complaints to a rheumatologist. Why does the knee hurt? This element of the musculoskeletal system withstands enormous loads of the whole body on a daily basis, performs a wide range of movements and has a complex structure.

The knee joint hurts in various diseases, some of which are already listed above, others are specific to this joint.

"Knees hurt: how to get rid of it? "- First of all, consult a doctor. Instrumental diagnosis helps to understand why the knees hurt, but the presumptive diagnosis is made on the basis of complaints and examination.

Knee pain most often occurs for the following reasons:

  1. Gonarthrosis - osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This cause is the most common mechanism for knee pain. Articulation is subjected to daily loads, which are the main risk factor for osteoarthritis.
  2. Meniscopathy. The menisci are layers of cartilage inside the joint. When a knee injury occurs, these structures are often damaged. Joints hurt badly with meniscopathy, the pain appears when you try to move. The treatment of the pathology is operative.
  3. Arthritis of various origins. Pain in the knee joint with arthritis has an inflammatory nature, they may be associated with infection of the joint itself or another organ. Knee pain can also occur in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
  4. gout. The knee joint is not the most common site of gouty arthritis. But this joint can still be affected by the disease. Knee pain is accompanied by the presence of subcutaneous tophi, increased levels of uric acid in the blood.
  5. Inflammation of the tendons - tendinitis. Knee pain is very often associated with soft tissue damage. When microtrauma occurs in the tendon or ligament, knee pain occurs, it is associated with a local inflammatory reaction. Symptoms worsen with exercise.
  6. Circulatory disorders. Vascular thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, varicose veins can cause knee pain. These problems often occur in postmenopausal women, as well as in people who often put strain on the joint.
  7. Baker's cyst and other diseases of the joint bag. The knee joint has a complex structure, its synovial membrane has inversions and pockets. Knee pain can be caused by local inflammation of the joint capsule or accumulation of inflammatory fluid in the popliteal space.
  8. Tumors. Neoplasms rarely affect the articular area. Most often, knee pain associated with tumor growth occurs when there are metastases in the joint from another organ. In this case, the diagnosis is known and the treatment of oncology is already underway.

In these and other diseases, a person's knees hurt, what to do in a particular situation, your doctor will tell you.

Knee pain is not always a sign of serious pathology, but it is not superfluous to worry about your health.


visit to the doctor for pain in the joints of the arms and legs

Before prescribing treatment for joint pain, the doctor will need to make a final diagnosis. To do this, he will conduct several mandatory diagnostic procedures. The examination standard includes:

  • General analysis of blood and urine - will show the presence or absence of an inflammatory reaction.
  • Biochemical blood test - assesses the function of the liver and kidneys, the state of protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • X-ray of the affected joints. The X-ray is performed in several projections and allows you to detect bone pathology.

Unfortunately, in most cases, these research methods are not sufficient for diagnosis. In this case, additional methods are applied:

  1. Computed tomography - allows you to detect even the slightest damage to bone tissue.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging - the method perfectly visualizes all soft tissues, including ligaments and menisci, tumors, cysts and other pathological formations.
  3. Ultrasound of the joints - detects abdominal and solid pathological formations, can measure the speed of blood flow in the vessels.
  4. Arthroscopy is the insertion of a camera into the joint cavity. One of the most accurate research methods.
  5. Diagnostic puncture - fluid is drawn from the articulatory cavity into the syringe, which is examined.

These diagnostic tools allow you to make the correct diagnosis with a high probability. Many procedures are expensive or have contraindications, so the need for testing is determined individually.


the doctor examines the joints of the hands for pain

How to treat joints? There are a large number of remedies, techniques and folk recipes for joint pain. Your doctor will help you choose the right treatment methods.

All means and methods of therapeutic effects can be divided into several groups, each of which will be discussed below.

Medication treatment

Medicines are often used exclusively for joint pain. This is not the right approach, it is better to use a comprehensive treatment. However, drugs play a major role in this.

The most commonly used drugs:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  2. Non-narcotic and opioid analgesics.
  3. Muscle relaxants.
  4. Glucocorticosteroids.
  5. Chondroprotectors.
  6. Cytostatics.
  7. vitamins.

The doctor should explain to the patient what each medicine helps.

Other drugs are prescribed for vascular diseases. If you have diseases of the vessels of the lower extremities and at the same time hurt the joints of the legs, what to do and what treatment to choose, the doctor decides.


physiotherapy for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

The use of various physiotherapeutic procedures complements the medical treatment.

The following techniques help with joint pain:

  • Electrophoresis.
  • Phonophoresis.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Paraffin applications.
  • Rodon baths.
  • Mud treatment.
  • Magnetic therapy.

These and other techniques allow you to increase blood flow to the affected joint, relieve swelling and increase the intensity of metabolic processes.

Therapeutic immobilization

Therapeutic immobilization is often prescribed for joint pain in the acute period. This method involves wearing bandages, corsets and orthoses on the affected joint.

You cannot use the bandage for a long time, as the muscles under the orthopedic design atrophy from inactivity. However, under heavy loads, support from immobilizing products is very useful.

exercise therapy

exercises for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

Physiotherapy plays a key role in the treatment of any pathological process in the musculoskeletal system. Gymnastics allows you to adapt the joint to the load, restore muscle strength, improve blood circulation and relieve swelling.

The intensity and time of training largely depend on the nature and severity of the disease. You need to start the exercises with breathing exercises and warming up small muscles.

Morning exercises for 20-30 minutes a day should be supplemented with swimming, Nordic walking and other aerobic activities.


Massage procedures perfectly relieve the patient from joint pain. What is the massage method used for? The procedures increase blood circulation, relieve swelling, reduce pain. You need to entrust this procedure to a specialist and undergo a massage after performing a set of exercises.


The key, and sometimes the only, role in the treatment of joint pathology is surgery. In this way the consequences of injuries, severe degenerative diseases, complications of joint pathology are treated.

The operation can be performed in different volumes: from plastic to prosthetics of the affected joint. The indications for intervention are determined by the patient's doctor together with the surgeon or traumatologist.

Treatment with folk remedies

folk remedies for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

Recipes of traditional medicine are still popular in our country. It should be said that folk remedies are not a proven and proven method and are used by patients at their own risk.

The following folk remedies are used to treat pathology of the musculoskeletal system:

  1. Compresses of bay leaf and cabbage.
  2. Decoctions of sunflower root.
  3. Golden mustache ointment.
  4. Application inside the eggshell.
  5. Compresses of crushed chestnut.
  6. Rye grains and other cereal structures in the form of decoctions.
  7. Boiled rice.
  8. Baking soda.

If you decide to use any of the recipes of traditional medicine, first consult your doctor.