Pain in all joints of the body

causes of joint pain

Joint problems often occur locally when a person has pain in a specific joint and can pinpoint the exact location of the pain. But sometimes joint pain cannot be localized, because all or several joints hurt at the same time. It is premature to talk about rheumatoid arthritis in this case, because, in addition to this pathology, there are other diseases in which pain covers all joints of the musculoskeletal system.

An attentive physician who will analyze patient complaints and identify cause-and-effect relationships can identify the reasons why all joints hurt at the same time. Determining the diagnosis is not always that easy and, with the most common general symptoms, it is not possible to identify a specific disease right away after a series of tests. Therefore, when systemic joint pain occurs, do not delay your visit to the doctor.

If all joints of the musculoskeletal system are seriously ill, there may be the following reasons:

  • Pathologies of autoimmune origin and systemic allergic reactions.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Chronic fatigue, increased physical activity.
  • Intoxication of the body.
  • Diseases of the blood.

When pain appears in many or all joints, it must be remembered right away that such a situation is only a reaction to certain diseases, but not to independent diseases. The only exceptions can be pathologies such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, when the immediate cause lies in the damage to the cartilage itself.

Rheumatoid arthritis

The disease refers to chronic autoimmune diseases in which joints throughout the body are primarily affected. A distinctive feature of rheumatoid arthritis is the involvement of many joints in the pathological process.

Cytokines, metalloproteinases and chemotactic cytokines play a key role in the inflammatory process. They are anti-inflammatory elements that activate the activity of the human body's own immune cells. As a result, they move to the site of inflammation, that is, to the joints of the human body, and provoke a typical inflammatory response.

A typical manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis is damage to peripheral and symmetrical joints. As the disease worsens, the disease affects the larger joints. Pathology mainly affects women, in men it occurs three times less often. It is diagnosed between the ages of thirty and fifty, but sometimes it can also appear in adolescents: this disease is called juvenile arthritis.

Despite the fact that scientists have elucidated the immune nature of the disease, it has not yet been possible to determine the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis - because anti-inflammatory cells acquire such pathological activity. To date, a genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis has been demonstrated, and it is also indicated that negative factors such as tobacco smoking, the transmission of viral diseases, and so on, influence the onset of pathologies.

The course of the disease is due to the activation of immune complexes, which are produced by the synovial membrane and are found in the blood vessels. A quick reaction to them are rheumatoid factors - the antibodies produced to these complexes. And in some cases, they appear on their own, without the presence of provoking factors.

HELP!At an early stage of the development of the pathology, macrophages migrate to the affected areas, after a while the number of lymphocytes increases. The release of inflammatory mediators and provokes the development of the pathological process throughout the body.

If a chronic lesion of the synovium occurs, then instead of its usual thickness it becomes denser and coarser, it grows and folds in the form of villi are formed on its surface. The cells of the synovial fluid produce stromelysin and collagenase, which contributes to the destructive processes in the cartilage tissue. The inflammatory process is enhanced by the production of prostaglandins, fibrin deposits and necrotic processes appear.

Overgrown synovial tissue causes inflammatory mediators that contribute to the destruction not only of cartilage, but also of bone tissue, ligaments and joint capsule. In the joint fluid itself, the number of leukocytes increases.

The small joints of the body become covered with characteristic rheumatoid nodules as the joint changes shape and takes on an ugly appearance. The content of these rheumatoid nodules is the necrotic part of macrophages, fibroblasts and plasma cells. Similar nodules can be found in internal organs.

The disease progresses gradually. Patients suffer from general and local joint manifestations: in the morning there is a characteristic stiffness of the joints, fatigue is observed, appetite is lost, body temperature rises to subfebrile. The condition of the joints improves a lot about an hour after waking up. The joints are affected symmetrically and rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the following joints:

  • Wrist.
  • Second and third metacarpophalangeal.
  • Shoulder.
  • Knees.
  • Ankles.
  • Hip.
  • Elbows.

Indeed, the disease threatens any joint of the musculoskeletal system. The distal phalangeal joints, as well as elements of the axial skeleton, are less often involved.

rheumatoid arthritis as a cause of joint pain

The joints remain sore, swollen and red and become hot to the touch. To minimize the painful sensations, patients try to keep the joints bent, so they hurt less. The progression of the disease occurs in the first 5-6 years after the onset of the first pathological changes. And already ten years after the development of pathology, irreversible changes appear in patients.

During this period, patients develop significant joint deformities and instability may occur. When the nerve branches are compressed, patients suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and with rheumatoid arthritis of the knee joint, patients are threatened with Baker's cyst, deep vein thrombosis, and so on.

In parallel with joint changes, extra-articular manifestations of the body are observed, which develop with the progression of the pathology in every third patient. An example of such manifestations can be rheumatoid nodules in the lungs, vasculitis, Felty's syndrome, myocarditis.

Diagnosis of the disease is not that difficult. The blood shows the typical clinical criteria for rheumatoid arthritis, an increase in the sedimentation rate of erythrocytes, a significant amount of C-reactive protein and rheumatoid factor.

The state of health of patients is specified on an X-ray image, which is taken if rheumatoid arthritis is suspected. The disease is differentiated from arthrosis, sarcoidosis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis developed against the background of hepatitis C.

IMPORTANT!When making a diagnosis, it should be taken into account that the disease has a rather high lethal outcome, but in rheumatoid arthritis it is associated not with joint damage, but with pathological changes in the heart, internal bleeding.

Treatment of the disease is carried out with supportive therapy and potent NSAIDs. It is recommended to give only adequate load to the joints, add physical therapy. If necessary, surgery is performed.


Osteoarthritis is another common condition that can affect both large and small joints. Various factors can provoke osteoarthritis, which, first of all, has a negative effect on the cartilage tissue of the joint. Cartilage throughout the human body performs different functions and primarily becomes a shock absorber in the process of various movements. Constant stress leads to increased wear of the cartilage.

If people with good health and strong immunity have the opportunity to restore damaged tissues, in elderly patients, as well as in patients with increased stress on the joint, the synthesis of new fibers almost does not occur, and the tissuecartilage is not restored. Traditionally, osteoarthritis is considered a consequence of mechanical effects on tissues, but now doctors are considering previously transferred inflammatory diseases as factors in the development of systemic osteoarthritis.

A typical symptom of the disease is pain in all joints, as the matrix loses extremely important substances: glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. The deficiency of these elements leads to the so-called dislocation of the joint, that is, cracks of various depths appear in the cartilage tissue.

Inflammatory processes can also disrupt the normal structure of cartilage tissue, therefore, when localized in the subchondral part of the bone, doctors often diagnose microfractures in patients. The edges of the bone in the joint are covered with growths - osteophytes. They serve to compensate for the worn out part of the cartilage, but in reality they bring even more negative sensations to patients.

osteoarthritis as a cause of joint pain

Postmenopausal women are more susceptible to osteoarthritis.

Since the true cause of osteoarthritis has not been elucidated, doctors identify several factors that contribute to the development of the disease:

  • Congenital insufficiency of the cartilage tissue, in which it is very easy to get injured. For example, patients with such a pathology develop flat feet, and dislocations are often diagnosed: complete and incomplete.
  • Gender is also one of the factors in the development of the disease, since according to statistics, osteoarthritis is twice as common in women than in men.
  • Age characteristic: the disease usually develops in patients over the age of forty-five, in women it coincides with the period of menopause.
  • Obesity.
  • Metabolic problems.
  • Increased sports load on the joints.
  • Traumatic joint injuries.

The disease develops in any joint, but usually the starting joint is the one with the most physical activity. It can be localized in the joints of the knee, hip, elbow, and so on.

The symptomatology of the disease is very evident, therefore osteoarthritis cannot be neglected. In a person, with increased stress, the joints immediately begin to hurt, while the strength of the discomfort can be different: from a slight groan in the joint to a sharp sharp pain in the joint. When performing movements, the pain increases, and at rest it becomes less pronounced.

In parallel with pain, patients suffer from cracks in the joints, the appearance of stiffness. Patients have limited movement. Especially at times of disease progression, when reflex muscle spasms are added to the pathology.

At a later stage in the development of the disease, patients develop a characteristic joint blockage - this is acute pain when the joint suddenly stops moving due to the appearance of severe pain in the joint. This is due to the entry of fragments of cartilage tissue into the cavity, blocking movement. If the disease is accompanied by inflammation, then there is swelling of the synovium, which is easy to visualize.

The development of osteoarthritis is quite individual. In some patients, x-ray shows signs of the progression of the pathology, but according to the sensations, the picture of the disease does not change. At the same time, other patients experience severe pain, inflammation and limited movement, when the joint itself in the photo looks satisfactory, based on the stage of development of the pathology.

Diagnosis of the disease is based on X-ray data and clinical signs of the disease. In parallel, an ultrasound or MRI can be performed if it is necessary to assess the presence of complications.

Doctors try to treat the disease in order to maximize joint mobility and maintain the patient's ability to work professionally. Therefore, in therapy, it is extremely important to stop the progression of the disease, eliminate pain in the joints and relieve inflammation.

At the moment, the possibilities of treating osteoarthritis are not unlimited, and the treatment tactics are difficult to recognize as effective, because it is not possible to restore the joints. The disease enters a chronic stage, and you have to constantly fight it.

HINT!However, such unhappy predictions do not condemn patients to disability: with successful therapy, you can learn to live with osteoarthritis and even maintain physical activity.

For treatment, doctors use the following groups of funds:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Glucocorticosteroids.
  • Chondroprotector.
  • Means for activating blood circulation.
  • Muscle relaxants.

Disease therapy consists mainly of drugs that can maximally restore cartilage tissue and establish metabolic processes in the joint. Therefore, the main emphasis is on chondroprotectors, the use of which begins immediately after the removal of inflammation. Treatment with chondroprotectors is long-term and the best result appears only with timely initiated treatment.

Other diseases

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the most common pathologies in which the joints hurt and hurt throughout the body. But, in addition to the leaders in morbidity, there are other conditions that cause joint pain.

which diseases cause joint pain

Joint pain can be a manifestation of leukemia.

Pain in the joints can be a manifestation of blood disorders. Hematological pathologies today are the most difficult not only in the diagnosis for treating doctors, but also in therapy. Often they are united by an oncological factor, and diseases acquire a completely different meaning for the patient. Joints throughout the body usually suffer from leukemia - acute and chronic. At the same time, patients do not even suspect what it means, as the results of blood tests show no abnormalities.

Arthralgia is not isolated, not only the joint elements are affected, but also bones and muscles. Therefore, doctors advise patients with long-term painful sensations, it is imperative to consult not only an orthopedic traumatologist or surgeon, but also a hematologist, who can suspect a pathology and send the patient for further research.

Body intoxication is another reason for joint pain. The fact is that the joints react extremely sharply to the intake of toxins in the body, and if they begin to hurt and twist the joints, the fault may be the influence of occupational hazards, intoxication from household waste, tobacco smokeand alcoholism. Patients suffer from extremely unpleasant symptoms: all joints ache, as if with the flu, the general condition of the body suffered.

Improvement of patients' health conditions is possible after diagnosis. Detoxification therapy is performed, the blood is purified and, as a result, the joint fluid of toxins.

Most important

Pain in all joints of the body is not always associated with the pathology of the joints themselves. If the joints in the body are affected, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis is usually the cause. Symptoms are rapidly increasing, and the pathological process in the joints progresses.

In other cases, when joint pain is not associated with joint damage, discomfort can be a manifestation of systemic diseases, for example, leukemia of the blood, as well as osteoporosis, intoxication of the body, infection. Coping with diseases is not that easy, but it is much more difficult to diagnose the disease. Patients with the appearance of joint pain should contact the clinic in a timely manner to start treatment at an early stage.