Pain in all joints of the body

causes of joint pain

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

A caring doctor who will analyze the patient's 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 so easy and, with the most common general symptoms, it is not possible to pinpoint a specific pathology immediately after a series of tests. Therefore, when systemic joint pain occurs, do not delay visiting 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.
  • Blood diseases.

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

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The disease refers to chronic autoimmune pathologies in which the joints of the body are mainly affected. A distinguishing feature of rheumatoid arthritis is the involvement of many joints in the pathological process.

At the same time, cytokines, metalloproteinase and chemotactic cytokines play a fundamental role in the inflammatory process. They are anti-inflammatory elements that activate the activity of the immune cells of the human body itself. As a result, they move to the site of inflammation, that is, to the joints of the human body, and elicit a typical inflammatory response.

A typical manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis is peripheral and symmetrical joint damage. When the disease gets worse, the condition affects the larger joints. The pathology mainly affects women, in men it occurs three times less. It is diagnosed between the ages of thirty and fifty, but it can sometimes also appear in teenagers - this disease is called juvenile arthritis.

Although scientists have clarified the immunological nature of the disease, it is still not possible to establish the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis - why anti-inflammatory cells acquire such pathological activity. So far, a genetic predisposition for rheumatoid arthritis has been proven, it is also indicated that negative factors such as smoking, transmission of viral diseases, etc. , influence the appearance 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 blood vessels. A quick reaction to them is rheumatoid factors - antibodies produced against these complexes. And in some cases, they appear on their own, without the presence of provocative 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 causes the development of the pathological process throughout the body.

If a chronic injury to the synovium occurs, instead of its normal thickness, it becomes more dense and coarse, grows and folds in the form of villi on its surface. Synovial fluid cells produce stromelysin and collagenase, which contribute to destructive processes in cartilage tissue. The inflammatory process is enhanced by the production of prostaglandins, fibrin deposits appear and necrotic processes appear.

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

Small joints in the body are covered by characteristic rheumatoid nodules when the joint changes shape and becomes ugly in 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 - there is a characteristic stiffness in the joints in the morning, 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:

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

In fact, the disease threatens any joint in the musculoskeletal system. The distal phalangeal joints, as well as elements of the axial skeleton, are less frequently involved.

rheumatoid arthritis as a cause of joint pain

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

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

Along with the joint changes, extra-articular manifestations of the body are observed, which develop with the progression of the pathology in every three patients. An example of such manifestations may be rheumatoid nodules in the lungs, vasculitis, Felty's syndrome, myocarditis.

Diagnosing the disease is not that difficult. The blood demonstrates typical clinical criteria for rheumatoid arthritis, an increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate, a significant amount of C-reactive protein and rheumatoid factor.

The health status of patients is specified on an X-ray image, which is done if rheumatoid arthritis is suspected. The disease is differentiated from osteoarthritis, sarcoidosis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis developed in the context of hepatitis C.

IMPORTANT!When making a diagnosis, it is necessary to take into account that the disease has a very high lethal result, but in rheumatoid arthritis it is not associated with joint damage, but with pathological changes in the heart, internal bleeding.

The disease is treated with supportive therapy, as well as with potent NSAIDs. It is recommended to give only an adequate load to the joints, to add exercise therapy. If necessary, surgery is performed.


Osteoarthritis is another common pathology that can affect large and small joints. Several factors can cause osteoarthritis, which in the first place has a negative effect on the cartilage tissue of the joint. Cartilage throughout the human body performs several functions and, mainly, becomes a buffer in the process of various movements. Constant stress leads to more wear and tear on the cartilage.

If people with good health and strong immunity have a chance to restore damaged tissues, in elderly patients, as well as in patients with greater joint stress, the synthesis of new fibers hardly occurs and cartilage tissue 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 joint dislocation, that is, cracks of various depths appear in the cartilaginous tissue.

Inflammatory processes can also disrupt the normal structure of cartilage tissue, so when located in the subchondral part of the bone, doctors often diagnose microfractures in patients. The edges of the bone in the joint are covered by growths - osteophytes. They serve to compensate for the worn out part of the cartilage, but actually bring even more negative feelings to patients.

osteoarthritis as a cause of joint pain

Women in menopause are more susceptible to osteoarthritis.

As the real cause of osteoarthritis has not been clarified, doctors identify several factors that contribute to the development of the disease:

  • Congenital insufficiency of cartilaginous tissue, in which it is very easy to injure. For example, patients with this condition develop flat feet, and dislocations are often diagnosed - complete or incomplete.
  • Gender is also a factor in the development of the disease, as, according to statistics, osteoarthritis is twice as common in women as in men.
  • Age characteristic - the disease usually develops in patients over forty-five years old, in women it coincides with the menopause period.
  • Obesity.
  • Metabolic problems.
  • Increased sports load on the joints.
  • Traumatic joint injuries.

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

The symptoms of the disease are very obvious, so osteoarthritis cannot be overlooked. In a person, with increased stress, the joints start to hurt immediately, while the intensity of the discomfort can be different: from a slight groan in the joint to a sharp and severe pain in the joint. When making movements, the pain increases and at rest it becomes less pronounced.

Parallel to the 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 add to the pathology.

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

The development of osteoarthritis is quite individual. In some patients, the radiograph shows signs of progression of the pathology, but according to the sensations, the condition does not change. At the same time, other patients experience severe pain, inflammation and limited movement, when the joint in the photo itself seems satisfactory, according to the stage of evolution of the pathology.

The diagnosis of the disease is based on X-ray data and clinical signs of the disease. In parallel, you can do an ultrasound or MRI scan if there is a need to assess the presence of complications.

Doctors try to treat the disease taking into account the maximum preservation of joint mobility and the patient's ability to work as a profession. Therefore, in therapy, it is extremely important to stop the progression of the disease, eliminate joint pain and relieve inflammation.

At the moment, the possibilities for treating osteoarthritis are not limitless and treatment tactics are difficult to recognize as successful, as it is not possible to restore joints. The disease enters a chronic stage and you need to fight it constantly.

TIP!However, these unfortunate 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:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Glucocorticosteroids.
  • Chondroprotectors.
  • Means to activate blood circulation.
  • Muscle relaxants.

Disease therapy is mainly composed of drugs that can restore cartilage tissue as much as possible 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 the beginning of the timely treatment.

Other diseases

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

what diseases cause joint pain

Joint pain can be a manifestation of leukemia.

Sore joints can be a manifestation of blood disorders. Hematological pathologies today are the most difficult not only in diagnosis for medical assistants, but also in therapy. They are often linked by an oncological factor and diseases take on a completely different meaning for the patient. Normally, the joints in the body ache with leukemia - acute and chronic. At the same time, patients do not even suspect what this means, as the results of the blood tests show no abnormalities.

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

Intoxication of the body is another reason for joint pain. The fact is that the joints react extremely acutely to the entry of toxins into the body, and if the joints start to hurt and twist, then the influence of occupational hazards, intoxication with household waste, smoking and alcoholism may be to blame. Patients suffer from extremely unpleasant symptoms - all joints ache, as if with a flu the general condition of the body suffers.

The improvement of the patients' health conditions is possible after the diagnosis. Detoxification therapy is performed, the blood is purified and, consequently, the toxin joint fluid.

Most important

Pain in all joints in the body is not always associated with the pathology of the joints themselves. If the joints in the body are affected, the cause is usually rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. The symptoms increase rapidly 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, blood leukemia, as well as osteoporosis, body poisoning and infection. Dealing with disease is not so 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 early.