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    Joint pain

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    Definition of joint pain

    Joint pain is discomfort that arises from any joint — the point where two or more bones meet. Joint pain is sometimes called arthritis or arthralgia. Joint pain can be mild, causing some soreness each time you move your joint. Or joint pain can be severe, making it impossible to use your joint. Joint pain is rarely an emergency. Most cases of mild joint pain can be successfully managed at home.

    Causes of joint pain

    Causes of joint pain include:

    1. Adult Still’s disease
    2. Ankylosing spondylitis
    3. Avascular necrosis
    4. Bone cancer
    5. Broken bone
    6. Bursitis
    7. Complex regional pain syndrome
    8. Dislocation
    9. Fibromyalgia
    10. Gout
    11. Hemochromatosis
    12. Hypothyroidism (a thyroid disorder)
    13. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
    14. Leukemia
    15. Lupus
    16. Lyme disease
    17. Osteoarthritis
    18. Osteomalacia
    19. Osteomyelitis
    20. Paget’s disease of bone
    21. Pseudogout
    22. Psoriatic arthritis
    23. Reactive arthritis
    24. Rheumatoid arthritis
    25. Rickets
    26. Sarcoidosis
    27. Septic arthritis
    28. Sprains and strains
    29. Tendinitis

    When to see a doctor

    Make an appointment with your doctor if your joint pain is accompanied by:

    • Swelling
    • Redness
    • Tenderness and warmth around the joint

    See a doctor immediately if your joint pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by:

    • Joint deformity
    • Inability to use the joint
    • Intense pain
    • Sudden swelling

    Self-care
    When caring for mild joint pain at home, follow these tips:

    • Try an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
    • Avoid using your joint in ways that cause or worsen pain.
    • Apply an ice pack to your painful joint for 15 to 20 minutes a few times each day.