Joint pain is discomfort that arises from any joint. The medical word for joint pain is arthralgia. This is different to the word arthritis, which means inflammation of the joint. It causes pain and sometimes warmth, redness and/or swelling of the joint. Joint pain may affect just one point or may affect many joints. Joints include:

  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Elbows
  • Knees

Joint pain refers to discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body’s joints. Joint pain is a common complaint. Sometimes, joint pain is the result of an illness or injury. Arthritis is also cause by joint pain. However, it can also be due to other conditions or factors. Some causes of joint pain require urgent treatment. For example:

  • If you have an infection in a joint (septic arthritis) then you will need to be seen in hospital as an emergency.
  • If you have a broken bone (fracture) which involves a joint.
  • If you are thought to have rheumatoid arthritis then you will need an urgent appointment with a specialist because starting treatment early will reduce the risk of long-term problems.

Joint pain may range from a mild ache to a severe, burning, or sharp sensation in one or several joints. In some instances, joint pain is associated with other symptoms, like joint swelling and stiffness, red and warm skin, and whole-body symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, or fever.



In people with pain in more than one joint, symptoms that should prompt rapid evaluation include:

  • Joint swelling, warmth, and redness
  • New rashes, spots, or purple blotches
  • Sores in the mouth or nose or on the genitals
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or new or severe cough
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever, sweats, weight loss, or chills
  • Eye redness or pain



People with nerve pain feel it in different ways. For some, it’s a stabbing pain in the middle of the night. For others, symptoms can include a chronic prickling, tingling, or burning they feel all day. Uncontrolled nerve pain can be hard to bear. But with treatment, it can often be adequately controlled. When your hand gets too close to a stove, the nerves send a pain signal to the brain and you pull back before you burn yourself. But if you have nerve damage, that system isn’t working. Damaged nerves may send false signals and you feel real pain, often without a cause. Damaged nerves may also result in you not feeling pain when you have an injury. Nerve damage may cause loss of sensation or numbness in the fingertips, making it harder to do things with your hands. Knitting, typing, and tying your shoes may become difficult. Many people with nerve damage say that their sense of touch feels dulled, as if they are always wearing gloves. In addition to dulling your sense of touch, nerve damage can result in muscle weakness or affect your sense of balance. Either of these could lead to falls.  Assistive devices like braces, canes or walkers may help. Physical and occupational therapy may also help. Many conditions such as diabetes, shingles, and cancer may cause injury and nerve pain. Some people develop nerve pain for no known reason. It is important to try to find the underlying cause of your nerve pain, such as uncontrolled diabetes, and seek appropriate treatment for it. It may help ease your pain and stop the progression of damage.