Arthralgia is a symptom that means joint pain. A joint is
a place where two bones contact each other. Arthralgia
can occur due to many reasons such as exercise, joint
damage, illness, infection, and allergic reactions.
Although joint pain can occur as a result of arthritis
(joint inflammation), some believe the term “arthralgia”
should only be used when the condition causing it is
Treating arthralgias with ice.
There are many other specific causes of arthralgia, which the doctor will need to
determine based on an interview, physical examination, medical records review (if
applicable), and medical tests.
Examples include systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE), gout, and bursitis. SLE is a long-
term disease in which the connective tissues throughout the body are inflamed because
the body's defense system attacks these tissues as if they were foreign substances.
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup in the blood of a chemical known as uric
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sac or sac-like cavity) located between a
tendon and skin or between a tendon and bone. Tendons are groups of fibers that attach
muscles to a bone. One or more arthroliths (loose solid substance in a joint) can cause
Because there are so many possible causes of arthralgia, treatment
is based on addressing the cause (e.g., treating an infection with
antibiotics, stopping a medication causing an allergic reaction).
Severe cases may require removal (i.e., arthrectomy) and
replacement of a joint through surgery. Medications to reduce
inflammation can treat inflammatory causes of joint pain. In addition
to treating the underlying cause, other treatment can include pain
medication, stretching exercises, and application of hot and/or cold
compresses. To learn more about the science of joints, see the
entry of arthrology. Arthralgic and arthrodynic means pertaining to or
affected with arthralgia. Arthralgia is also known as arthrodynia.