May 5, 2022

6 Things That Might Be the Reason Behind Your Joint Pain

Written by: Omnia Tantawi, MSc

There are many reasons why you’re suddenly experiencing pain across multiple joints. It’s a condition that’s known as arthralgia. When we’re talking about joint pain across various points, this is known as polyarthralgia.

Here’s a list of signs and symptoms if you’re feeling polyarthralgia:

  • Persistent pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Reduced ability to walk
  • Weakness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling feeling in the affected joint

 

However, these signs and symptoms will differ according to the patients’ state and the underlying condition causing the painful joints in the first place.

 

Causes of Polyarthralgia

There are many reasons why someone might experience a sudden onset of pain in many joints; check out the following list:

 

  • Arthritis

Whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, the result is similar. Both are inflammatory conditions that cause your joints to swell up, become inflamed, stiff, painful, and hard to move.

Arthritis is considered one of the leading causes of multiple joint pain; it can suddenly affect someone’s life and significantly decrease the quality of life of those affected by it.

A regimented plan of treatment is needed for any arthritic patient to help them relieve their symptoms and constant pain. 

 

  • Injury

Sometimes, we bump our knees or legs into a table or a sharp object and forget all about it. However, our joints don’t forget. The same goes for polyarthralgia caused by an injury; maybe it’s a car accident, perhaps it’s from a fall, or maybe even from overloading on ourselves in the gym.

These are all sources of polyarthralgia that, over time can turn into chronic pain that will be treated on a long-term basis. 

This is why it’s always important to mind your movements and activities and to make sure never to overbear your body; in case there’s an injury due to an accident make sure to take precautions and visit your doctor right away.

 

  • Hypothyroidism

It was scientifically proven that patients with problems in their thyroid gland especially those who suffer from autoimmune chronic thyroiditis (a condition where the thyroid gland attacks the body) or hypothyroidism (a condition with an underactive thyroid gland) are strongly linked to symptoms of polyarthralgia.

Not to worry though; these same studies also reveal that proper treatment with replacement therapy of thyroxin can significantly improve these symptoms and treat polyarthralgia.

 

  • Infection

There are some types of bacterial and viral infections that can cause polyarthralgia. There were many case reports of patients suffering from muscle weakness, rash, fever, and joint pain at multiple points. 

Upon analyzing their blood samples, it was found that there was evidence of viral infections that they got from travelling to other countries (ex.: Mayaro Virus).

Some of these patients had to be treated with anti-inflammatory medications to treat their severe polyarthralgia.

 

  • Gout

Previously known as the King’s disease for spreading from eating too many proteins and meats. 

Gout can also play a role in displaying polyarthralgia symptoms due to the accumulation of salt crystals between joints that can cause excruciating pain, limit their mobility, and make them inflamed.

Although treated by diet, pain medications, and lifestyle changes, it still can affect joint movement and cause pain at multiple points. 

 

  • Bone cancer

We can all agree that this is one of the most severe conditions affecting someone’s life. 

Therefore, it’s no surprise that having polyarthralgia can be one of the symptoms of bone cancer. 

Suffering from the dire complications of bone cancer from anemia, susceptibility to infections, spinal cord instability, decreased mobility to excessive pain can explain why polyarthralgia is one of the signs of detecting bone cancer.

We recommend visiting your doctor immediately upon feeling any previously mentioned symptoms.

 

Diagnosis of Polyarthralgia

To diagnose polyarthralgia, many tests will be ordered by your healthcare professional to pinpoint the exact cause and advise on the best treatment plan to follow.

They usually revolve around finding the following from the patients:

  • List of symptoms
  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Biochemical laboratory test (ex. Uric acid, C-reactive protein, rheumatoid factor, etc.,)
  • Diagnostic imaging techniques (ex. X-ray, CT scan, PET scan, MRI, etc.,)

Treatment of Polyarthralgia

To manage the signs and symptoms of polyarthralgia and successfully treat the condition, a diagnosis must first be reached on the underlying reason causing the disease.

There are many options; these include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Over the counter pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets or injections
  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Light exercises

A treatment plan needs to be crafted by your doctor to specifically meet your needs and successfully target the source of your pain.

 

To Sum Up

Generally, polyarthralgia or sudden onset of joint pain at multiple points is not a severe disease to worry about or make you anxious or depressed. It’s treatable and can easily be managed after following a guided therapeutic plan. 

Nevertheless, you should never ignore any symptoms of joint pain because the underlying condition can be as dangerous and deadly as bone cancer.

So, the trick is to stay ahead of any health threats and take matters into your own hands by regularly checking when you feel that something is wrong. 

 

References

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  5. Punzi L, Sfriso P, Pianon M, Schiavon F, Ramonda R, Cozzi F, et al. Clinical manifestations and outcome of polyarthralgia associated with chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2002 Aug 1;32(1):51–5.
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Article written by Omnia Tantawi, MSc
Omnia is an Assistant Lecturer and Medical Researcher from Egypt. She’s an integral part in many research projects that proved promising in revolutionizing the future of Medicine. As a Research Scholar, she’s particularly interested in Personalized & Molecular Medicine because she believes that this is the prospect of the healthcare industry and can be applied to all medical and pharmaceutical specializations. But at heart she remains a wordsmith, so she currently works as a Medical Writer. This transition was fairly easy with an Academic Medical background, ability to adapt to different audiences and passion for research and creation. She always takes the most complex or mundane topics and turn it into a must-read with an unparalleled style. In her free time, she likes to read books, tunes in Netflix or enjoys the outdoors.

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