Joint Pain
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Reviewed By:

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc (Family Medicine, Primary Care Physician)

Dr. Taylor is a Japanese-African American physician who grew up and was educated in the United States but spent a considerable amount of time in Japan as a college student, working professional and now father of three. After graduating from Brown, he worked in finance first before attending medical school at Penn. He then completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control before going on to specialize in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was also a chief resident. After a faculty position at Stanford, he moved with his family to Japan where he continues to see families on a military base outside of Tokyo, teach Japanese residents and serve remotely as a medical director for Roots Community Health Center. He also enjoys editing and writing podcast summaries for Hippo Education.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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Content updated on Dec 6, 2023

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People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Joint is tender (painful to touch)

  • Joint pain in the same joints on both left and right

  • Joint pain doesn't get better even though I rest

  • Joint pain is getting more and more unbearable

  • All the joints in my body are painful

  • I feel discomfort in my joints

  • Joint pain that has worsened over the years

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About the Symptom

Joint pain can be discomfort, pain or inflammation arising from any part of a joint — including cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons or muscles. Joint pain may happen in isolation or it may be one symptom occurring together with many others. There are many reasons one may experience joint pain.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Back pain

  • Swelling of the affected area

  • Recent weight loss

  • Low back pain

  • Fever

  • Numbness / sensory disorder

Possible causes

Generally, Joint pain can be related to:

  • Femoral head necrosis

    A condition where the top of the hip bone is damaged and dies due to poor blood supply. It can be caused by direct injury to the bone (e.g., a fracture or dislocation) or indirect injury (e.g., alcohol, smoking, medications, or radiotherapy).

  • Shoulder periarthritis

    Also known as "frozen shoulder". This condition is caused by inflammation of the ligaments and capsule around the shoulder joint. As the disease progresses, patients find it increasingly difficult to move the shoulder joint. Risk factors include diabetes, thyroid conditions, age, and injury to the joint.

  • Tenosynovitis

    Tendons are cartilage structures that connect muscle to bone. Tenosynovitis happens when the layer or tunnel around the tendon gets inflamed. Causes include overuse or repetitive strain on the tendon.

  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Adult Still's disease

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Joint pain may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Septic arthritis

    Septic arthritis is an infection of a joint space. This can be caused by a wound that penetrates the joint allowing bacteria to enter, complications following surgery, or by bacteria traveling from distant sites via the bloodstream into the joint.

  • Femoral neck fracture

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do you have joint pain?

  • Do you have joint pain at rest?

  • Do you have joint pain on both sides of your body?

  • Do your arms or legs feel weak?

  • Is the affected area red?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Joint pain - NHS

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/joint-pain/

  • Schaible HG, Richter F, Ebersberger A, Boettger MK, Vanegas H, Natura G, Vazquez E, Segond von Banchet G. Joint pain. Exp Brain Res. 2009 Jun;196(1):153-62. doi: 10.1007/s00221-009-1782-9. Epub 2009 Apr 11. PMID: 19363606.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19363606/

Reviewed By:

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc (Family Medicine, Primary Care Physician)

Dr. Taylor is a Japanese-African American physician who grew up and was educated in the United States but spent a considerable amount of time in Japan as a college student, working professional and now father of three. After graduating from Brown, he worked in finance first before attending medical school at Penn. He then completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control before going on to specialize in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was also a chief resident. After a faculty position at Stanford, he moved with his family to Japan where he continues to see families on a military base outside of Tokyo, teach Japanese residents and serve remotely as a medical director for Roots Community Health Center. He also enjoys editing and writing podcast summaries for Hippo Education.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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