Why do the joints of the hands and feet hurt?

Why do joints hurt? With such a question, the majority of patients seek medical attention or try to find an answer on their own. Unfortunately, this complaint is not specific and may indicate a pathology with different mechanisms and causes of development.

We try to identify the most common causes of joint pain and learn how to treat common diseases.


pain in the joints of the hands and feet

Before examining the immediate causes of pain, it is worthwhile to learn more about the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders. By starting a diagnostic search, your doctor will find out exactly how your joints hurt - so the specialist can quickly find the cause of the disease.

By the nature of the feelings, the pain can be:

  • Sore.
  • Cutting.
  • Crack.
  • Compressor.

The intensity of pain in the joints of the arms and legs varies. Aching, mild pain refers to chronic diseases. If the joints hurt badly, the feelings do not allow movement, then the process is acute.

The rhythm of the pain

pain in the shoulders and joints of the arms and legs

The symptoms of all the diseases of the joints of the arms and legs can be divided according to the rhythm of the pain: mechanical or inflammatory. Mechanical pain has the following characteristics:

  • It intensifies in the evening.
  • Morning stiffness is not typical.
  • It is strongly felt after physical exertion.
  • At rest, the pain hurts or is completely absent.
  • Start - a certain type of pain at the beginning of the movement.

Inflammatory rhythm is characteristic of synovitis of the joints of the arms and legs of various origins. Symptoms include:

  • Morning stiffness of the body or parts of the arms and legs for more than 30 minutes.
  • The pain intensifies at night and early in the morning.
  • With the movements, the symptoms are relieved and the stiffness of the body is reduced.
  • In this rhythm of pain caused by stiffness and pain, anti-inflammatory drugs work well.

Other symptoms

Pain in the joints of the arms and legs is accompanied by certain manifestations depending on the cause of the development. The cause of joint pain can often be determined by additional symptoms:

  • Restricted movement of arms or legs.
  • Stiffness of the limbs.
  • Swelling of the joints of the arms and legs (swelling of the elbow joint).
  • Local fever and redness.
  • General weakness, fever.
  • Visible skin changes in the arms, legs, torso.
  • Manifestations of other organs.

Depending on the symptoms that accompany the pain in the joints of the arms and legs, your doctor will determine why the disease has developed.

Joint diseases

pain in the joints of the legs and arms

Pain in the joints of the arms and legs can be caused by diseases of completely different origins and developmental mechanisms. However, the most common causes of such symptoms can be identified:

  1. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of cartilage and bone tissue. Joint pain is mechanical in nature, with an inflammatory component attached during the period of exacerbation.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is attacked by the body’s own immune cells in the joint. Joint pain clearly has an inflammatory rhythm.
  3. Reactive arthritis is an inflammation caused by an infection of another organ. It is common with hepatitis and urinary tract infections.
  4. Infectious arthritis - involves the entry of microbes into a joint.
  5. Injuries and fractures. Diagnosis is not difficult due to historical trauma.
  6. Damage to ligaments and intraarticular formations. The soft structures of the joints also cause joint pain when injured.
  7. Rheumatic diseases. A large group of causes of autoimmune damage to joints are systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatism, Bechterew's disease, Reiter's syndrome, and others.
  8. Gout and other metabolic arthropathies. Symptoms of musculoskeletal damage are often accompanied by the deposition of various pathological substances in the joints. In gout, these are salts of uric acid.
  9. Psoriatic arthritis - the cause of this disease is unknown. Antibodies in your own body affect the tissues of your joints, your internal organs, and your skin. A common manifestation of the disease is dermatitis - peeling of the skin on the extensor surface of the limbs.

This list includes the most common causes of musculoskeletal disorders.

Joint pain can also be caused by vascular disorders and nervous system diseases. The ultimate cause must be determined by your doctor.

Diseases of the knee joints

Knee pain is one of the most commonly reported complaints at a rheumatologist. Why does my knee hurt? This element of the musculoskeletal system carries a huge daily load on the whole body, performs a wide variety of movements and has a complex structure.

The knee joint suffers from various diseases, some of which have already been listed above, others are characteristic of this joint.

"Your knee hurts: how to get rid of it? " - First, see a doctor. Instrumental diagnostics help to find out why a knee hurts, but a diagnosis is made based on complaints and examination.

Knee pain is most common for the following reasons:

  1. Gonarthrosis - osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This cause is the most common mechanism of knee pain. Articulation is subject to daily stress, which is a major risk factor for arthrosis.
  2. Meniscopathy. Meniscus is a layer of cartilage within the joint. When a knee injury occurs, these structures are often damaged. The joints are severely sore with meniscopathy, a pain that occurs when you try to move. The treatment of the pathology is operative.
  3. Arthritis of various origins. Knee pain associated with arthritis is inflammatory in nature and may be related to an infection of the joint itself or another organ. Knee pain can also occur in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
  4. Gout. The knee joint is not the most common localization of gouty arthritis. But this joint can still be affected by the disease. Knee pain is accompanied by the presence of subcutaneous tophi, an increase in the level of uric acid in the blood.
  5. Inflammation of tendons - tendonitis. Knee pain is very often accompanied by damage to the soft tissues. When microtrauma occurs in the tendon or ligament, pain occurs in the knee, which is associated with a local inflammatory reaction. The symptoms are exacerbated by exercise.
  6. Circulatory disorders. Vascular thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, varicose veins can cause pain in the knee. These problems often occur in postmenopausal women as well as in people who often put a strain on the joint.
  7. Baker's cyst and other diseases of the joint sac. The synovial membrane of the knee joint has complex structures with inversions and pockets. Knee pain may be caused by local inflammation of the joint capsule or accumulation of inflammatory fluid in the popliteal space.
  8. Tumors. Tumors rarely affect the articulation area. The most common knee pain associated with tumor growth is when metastases of another organ are present in the joint. In this case, the diagnosis is known and oncology treatment is already underway.

With these and other ailments, a person’s knee hurts what to do in a given situation, your doctor will tell you.

Knee pain is not always a sign of severe pathology, but anxiety about your health is not unnecessary.


a visit to the doctor for joint pain in the arms and legs

Before prescribing treatment for joint pain, your doctor should make a definitive diagnosis. To do this, you perform a number of mandatory diagnostic procedures. The examination standard includes:

  • General analysis of blood and urine - indicates the presence or absence of an inflammatory reaction.
  • Biochemical blood test - assesses liver and kidney function, the state of protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • X - ray of the affected joints. X-rays are performed in multiple projections and allow the detection of bone pathology.

Unfortunately, in most cases, these research methods are not sufficient to make a diagnosis. In this case, additional methods are used:

  1. Computed tomography - allows even the slightest damage to bone tissue to be detected.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging - the method perfectly displays all soft tissues, including ligaments and meniscus, tumors, cysts and other pathological formations.
  3. Ultrasound of the joints - detects abdominal and solid abnormalities, can measure the rate of blood flow in the vessels.
  4. Arthroscopy is the introduction of a camera into the joint cavity. One of the most accurate research methods.
  5. Diagnostic puncture fluid is drawn from the joint cavity into the syringe, which is examined.

These diagnostic tools are likely to allow a correct diagnosis to be made. Many procedures have costly or contraindications, so the need for research is determined individually.


the doctor examines the joints of the hands for pain

How to treat joints? There are many treatments, techniques and folk recipes for the treatment of joint pain. Your doctor will help you choose the right therapeutic methods.

All means and methods of therapeutic effects can be divided into several groups, each of which is discussed below.

Drug treatment

In the case of joint pain, medications are often used exclusively. This is not the right approach, it is better to apply complex treatment. In which, however, drugs play a key role.

The most commonly used drugs:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  2. Non-narcotic and opioid analgesics.
  3. Muscle relaxants.
  4. Glucocorticosteroids.
  5. Chondroprotectors.
  6. Cytostatics.
  7. Vitamins.

The treating physician should explain to the patient how each medication is helping.

Other medications are prescribed for vascular diseases. If you have diseases of the blood vessels in the lower extremities and at the same time the joints in the legs are painful, what should be done and what treatment should be chosen, the doctor will decide.


physiotherapy for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

The use of various physiotherapy procedures complements the treatment.

The following techniques help with joint pain:

  • Electrophoresis.
  • Phonophoresis.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Paraffin applications.
  • Rodon baths.
  • Mud therapy.
  • Magnetotherapy.

These and other techniques make it possible to increase blood flow to the affected joint, relieve swelling, and increase the intensity of metabolic processes.

Therapeutic immobilization

Therapeutic immobilization is often prescribed for joint pain in the acute period. This method involves wearing bandages, corsets and orthoses on the affected joint.

You should not use the bandage for a long time because the muscles under the orthopedic design will atrophy due to inactivity. However, in the case of high loads, it is very useful to support immobilizing products.

practice therapy

exercises for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

Physiotherapy plays a key role in the treatment of any pathological process in the musculoskeletal system. Gymnastics allows you to adjust the joint to the load, restore muscle strength, improve blood circulation and relieve swelling.

The intensity and duration of training depends largely on the nature and severity of the disease. Exercises should begin with breathing exercises and warming up the small muscles.

20-30 minutes of daily exercise should be supplemented with swimming, Nordic walking and other aerobic activities.


Massage procedures perfectly relieve the patient of joint pain. What can the massage method be used for? The procedures improve blood circulation, relieve swelling and relieve pain. This procedure should be performed by a professional and a massage should be performed after the exercises.


Surgical intervention plays a key and sometimes the only role in the treatment of joint pathology. This is how they treat the consequences of injuries, the severity of degenerative diseases, and the complications of joint pathology.

The surgery can be performed in a variety of amounts: from plastic to the prosthesis of the affected joint. The indications for the procedure are determined by the patient's doctor together with the surgeon or traumatologist.

Treatment with folk remedies

folk remedies for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

Recipes of traditional medicine are still popular in Hungary. It must be said that treatment with folk remedies is not a proven and proven method and is used by patients at their own danger and risk.

The following folk remedies are used to treat the pathology of the musculoskeletal system:

  1. Wrap with bay leaves and cabbage.
  2. Decoctions of sunflower root.
  3. Golden mustache ointment.
  4. Application inside the eggshell.
  5. Chopped chestnut compress.
  6. Rye grains and other cereals in the form of decoctions.
  7. Cooked rice.
  8. Baking soda.

If you decide to use one of the prescriptions for traditional medicine, consult your doctor first.