What Is Multiple Joint Pain?
Polyarticular joint pain (polyarthralgia) is pain that involves multiple joints. Polyarticular joint disorders may affect different joints at different times.
What Are Symptoms of Pain in Multiple Joints?
Joint pain may be accompanied by symptoms such as:
- Joint inflammation
- Skin redness in the joint area
- Bruising or bleeding, if caused by injury
What Causes Pain in Multiple Joints?
There are many possible causes of pain in multiple joints, including:
- Forms of arthritis
- Bursitis or tendinitis in multiple joints
- Soft tissue abnormalities
- Nerve (neuropathic) pain
- Metabolic bone disease
- Bone infection
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Injuries such as sprains
How Is Pain in Multiple Joints Diagnosed?
Pain in multiple joints is diagnosed with a physical examination of the joints and a history of symptoms.
Tests that may be indicated to help diagnose the cause of pain in multiple joints include:
- Arthrocentesis for synovial fluid analysis
- Blood tests
- Imaging studies
- Tissue biopsy
What Is the Treatment for Pain in Multiple Joints?
Treatment for pain in multiple joints involves treating the underlying disorder and may include:
- Pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Topical NSAIDs applied to the skin
- Topical capsaicin
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain without inflammation
- Steroid injections into the joints
- Antibiotics for bacterial joint infections
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Joint immobilization with a splint or sling
- Heat or cold therapy
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Surgery in severe cases
- Joint realignment
- Joint fusion
- Joint replacement