What are the signs of joint problems?

Joint symptoms include pain, inflammation, soreness, achiness and stiffness. You may have difficulty moving the joint. The symptoms may occur in one joint or in multiple joints. The symptoms may be constant or variable, and they may improve or worsen with movement. If joint pain is present, it may be described as sharp, dull, stabbing, burning or throbbing, ranging in intensity from mild to severe.

Joint Problems Spotlight

Arthritis and other types of degenerative joint disease are among the most common causes of joint symptoms. Joint symptoms may also be related to a chronic underlying disease that affects other regions of the body. Injuries can also cause joint symptoms.

The duration and course of joint symptoms vary widely, depending on the cause. Symptoms caused by injury often have a sudden onset. In other cases, joint symptoms resulting from wear-and-tear damage or an underlying medical condition develop slowly and persist or worsen over time.

In rare cases, infections of the bone (osteomyelitis) or skin and soft tissues (cellulitis) in and surrounding a joint can spread throughout the body, resulting in shock and organ failure. Another rare but potentially life-threatening cause of joint symptoms is cancer of the bones or the soft tissues of the joints.

Although life-threatening complications of joint symptoms are rare, seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have injuries that involve profuse bleeding or tissue damage, or for serious symptoms, such as high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), paralysis, loss of sensation, absent pulses in your feet, the inability to move a joint, or uncontrollable pain.

If your joint symptoms are persistent, recurrent, or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with joint symptoms?

Joint symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the joints may also involve other body systems.... Read more about joint symptomssymptoms


What causes joint symptoms?

There are many causes of joint symptoms. The primary cause of joint symptoms is arthritis, or inflammation of the joints. Sudden joint symptoms may be due to an injury, while joint symptoms that develop and worsen over time may be due to an underlying disease or disorder.... Read more about joint symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

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