Joint pain can be caused by many types of injuries or conditions. No matter what causes it, joint pain can be very bothersome.
Some things that can cause joint pain are:
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Chondromalacia patellae
- Gout (especially found in the big toe)
- Infections caused by a virus, including
- Epstein-Barr viral syndrome
- Lyme disease
- Measles (rubeola)
- Rheumatic fever
- Rubella (German measles)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Injury, such as a fracture
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Septic arthritis (joint infection)
- Unusual exertion or overuse, including strains or sprains
The treatment for joint pain depends on the cause. For nonarthritic joint pain, both rest and exercise are important. Warm baths, massage and stretching exercises should be used as frequently as possible.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help the soreness feel better. Anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain and swelling. Talk to your health care provider before giving aspirin or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to children.
You should call your doctor if:
- You have fever that is not associated with flu symptoms
- You have lost 10 pounds or more without trying (unintended weight loss)
- Your joint pain lasts for more than 3 days
- You have severe, unexplained joint pain, particularly if you have other unexplained symptoms