Arthralgia is pain in one or more of your joints. The pain may be described as sharp, dull, stabbing, burning or throbbing and may range in intensity from mild to severe. It is a symptom of injury, infection, illnesses (in particular arthritis) or an allergic reaction to medication.
Osteoarthritis (OA): An inflammatory disease with pain and stiffness in many joints in the body.
This is fairly common, lasting less than 30 minutes in the day after awaking from sleep.
Medications: Certain medications, as a side effect, can cause joint pain. The joint pain is usually relieved when
the medications are stopped.
Infections in the joint.
Other inflammatory conditions, such as gout (a collection of uric acid crystal deposits in the joint).
You may have swelling and redness of the painful joints or experience pain in one specific region,
such as back pain.
This pain may be mild or severe.
The pain may last a few minutes or it may be constant.
You may have fever, chills, if you have an infection.
You may have pain in your muscles, as well as your joints.
You may be overly tired or very weak (fatigued).
It may be hard for you to do any kind of your normal activities.     You may feel depressed if you have constant pain.
Diagnosis involves interviewing the patient and performing physical exams.
When attempting to establish the cause of the arthralgia, the emphasis is on the interview.
The patient is asked questions intended to narrow the number of potential causes.
Given the varied nature of these possible causes, some questions may seem irrelevant.
Treatment for arthralgia will vary depending on the joint that is affected, the severity of the pain and
the underlying cause.
Treatment will address the underlying cause and alleviate or manage symptoms.
Minor arthralgia can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications that reduce pain and swelling,
or by icing, taking warm baths or stretching.
More severe cases of arthralgia may benefit from medical procedures, such as steroid injections, joint aspiration
or physical therapy.
You have severe pain and can't put any weight on the injured joint.
The injured area looks crooked or has lumps and bumps (other than swelling) that you do not
see on the uninjured joint.
You can't move the injured joint.
You can't walk more than four steps without significant pain.
Your limb buckles or gives way when you try to use the joint.
You have numbness in any part of the injured area.
You see redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury.
You injure an area that has been injured several times before.
You have pain, swelling, or redness over a bony part of your foot.
You are in doubt about the seriousness of the injury or how to care for it.
A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon (fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone). Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result from a partial or complete tear.
A strain is caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon.
Strains can be acute or chronic.
An acute strain is associated with a recent trauma or injury; it also can occur after improperly lifting heavy
objects or overstressing the muscles.
Chronic strains are usually the result of overuse: prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles and tendons.
Two common sites for a strain are the back and the hamstring muscle (located in the back of the thigh).
Contact sports such as soccer, football, hockey, boxing, and wrestling put people at risk for strains.
Gymnastics, tennis, rowing, golf, and other sports that require extensive gripping can increase the risk of
hand and forearm strains.
Elbow strains sometimes occur in people who participate in racquet sports, throwing, and contact sports.
Signs and Symptoms
People with a strain experience:
Some loss of muscle function in minor or moderate strain
Severe strains that partially or completely tear the muscle or tendon are often very painful and disabling.