Joints are the parts of your body where your bones meet. Joints allow the bones of your skeleton to move. Joint pain refers to discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body’s joints. Joint pain is a common complaint. It doesn’t typically require a hospital visit. Sometimes, joint pain is the result of an illness or injury. Arthritis is also a common cause of joint pain. However, it can also be due to other conditions or factors.
Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) and infection, and extremely rarely it can be a cause of cancer of the joint. Pain within the joint is a common cause of shoulder pain, ankle pain, and knee pain. Joint pain is also referred to as arthralgia.
Symptoms and signs associated with joint pain can include:
Locking of the joint,
Loss of range of motion of the joint,
Your doctor will probably perform a physical exam. They’ll also ask you a series of questions about your joint pain. This may help to narrow down the potential causes.
A joint X-ray may be necessary to identify arthritis-related joint damage. If your doctor suspects there’s another cause, they may perform a blood test to screen for certain autoimmune disorders. They may also perform a sedimentation rate test to measure the level of inflammation in the body or a complete blood count.
Your treatment options will depend on the cause of the pain. In some cases, your doctor will need to draw out accumulated fluid in the joint area. They might also recommend surgery to replace the joint.