Joint Pains and Arthritis

The Facts

A joint is where two or more bones meet. Joint pain can range from mild to severe, when it is so painful that it is impossible to move the joint. Mild joint pain can often be resolved with self-care measures at home.

Causes of joint pain include:

  • arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (a progressive, chronic condition that causes the lining of your joints or other body areas to become inflamed), gout, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis (a joint disease that causes the cartilage to break down and bone to overgrow or form cysts); in fact, arthritis is often called “joint pain”
  • bursitis (inflammation caused by repeated pressure, overuse, or injury)
  • infection caused by a virus (e.g., hepatitis, influenza)
  • injury (e.g., fracture)
  • osteomyelitis (infection of the bone)
  • sprains and strains, or unusual exertion or overuse
  • tendinitis (inflammation of the tendons, the tissue that anchors muscles to bones)

In many cases of minor joint pain, you can manage the pain at home by resting, applying an ice pack, taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, and avoiding using the joint that worsens pain. If joint pain is more severe, see your doctor.


Read more about conditions that can cause joint pain by clicking the links below.