Why do the joints of the hands and feet hurt?

Why do joints hurt? With such a question, a large number of patients go to the doctor or try to look for the answer on their own. Unfortunately, this complaint is not specific and may indicate a pathology with various mechanisms and causes of development.

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


pain in the joints of the hands and feet

Before analyzing the immediate causes of pain, it is worth learning more specifically about the symptoms of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The doctor, starting a diagnostic search, will find out exactly how the joints hurt - so the specialist will quickly find the causes of the disease.

By the nature of sensations, pain can be:

  • Aching.
  • Cutting.
  • Bursting.
  • Compressive.

Pain in the joints of the arms and legs vary in intensity. Aching, weak pain indicates chronic diseases. If the joints hurt a lot, the sensations do not make it possible to make movements, then the process is acute.

Rhythm of pain

pain in the shoulder and joints of the arms and legs

Symptoms of all diseases of the joints of the hands and feet can be divided according to the rhythm of pain: mechanical or inflammatory. Mechanical pain has the following characteristics:

  • Grows in the evening.
  • Morning stiffness is not typical.
  • Strongly felt after exercise.
  • At rest, the pain is aching or completely absent.
  • Starting - a particular type of pain at the time of the start of movement.

The inflammatory rhythm is characteristic of synovitis of the joints of the arms and legs of various origins. The symptoms are as follows:

  • Morning stiffness of the body or certain parts of the arms and legs for more than 30 minutes.
  • The pain increases at night and early in the morning.
  • With movements, the symptoms become less intense, the stiffness of the body subsides.
  • In this rhythm of pain from body stiffness and pain, anti-inflammatory drugs work well.

Other symptoms

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

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

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

Diseases of the joints

pain in the joints of the legs and arms

Pain in the joints of the arms and legs can be caused by diseases that are completely different in origin and mechanism of development. However, the most common causes of such symptoms can be identified:

  1. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of cartilage and bone tissue. The pain in the joints is mechanical in nature, during the period of exacerbation, an inflammatory component joins.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease associated with the attack of the joint by the body's own cells of the immune system. Joint pain has a clearly inflammatory rhythm.
  3. Reactive arthritis is inflammation caused by an infection in another organ. Often occurs with hepatitis and urinary tract infections.
  4. Infectious arthritis - associated with the entry of microbes into the joint.
  5. Injuries and fractures. Diagnosis is not difficult due to the presence of trauma in history.
  6. Damage to ligaments and intra-articular formations. The soft structures of the joints also cause joint pain when damaged.
  7. Rheumatic diseases. A large group of causes that cause autoimmune damage to the joints: systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatism, Bechterew's disease, Reiter's syndrome and others.
  8. Gout and other metabolic arthropathies. Often, symptoms of damage to the musculoskeletal system are associated with the deposition of various pathological substances in the joints. In gout, they are salts of uric acid.
  9. Psoriatic arthritis - the cause of this disease is unknown. Antibodies of one's own body affect the tissues of the joints, internal organs and skin. A frequent manifestation of the disease is dermatitis - peeling of the skin on the extensor surfaces of the limbs.

This list represents the most common causes of diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Joint pain can also be caused by vascular disorders and neurological diseases. The attending physician must determine the final cause.

Diseases of the knee joints

Knee pain is one of the most frequently reported complaints to a rheumatologist. Why does the knee hurt? This element of the musculoskeletal system daily endures huge loads of the whole body, performs a large range of movements and has a complex structure.

The knee joint hurts with various diseases, some of them have already been listed above, others are specific to this joint.

"Knees hurt: how to get rid of? "- First of all, consult a doctor. Instrumental diagnostics help to find out why the knees hurt, but a presumptive diagnosis is made on the basis of complaints and examination.

Pain in the knee joint most often occurs due to the following reasons:

  1. Gonarthrosis - osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This cause is the most common mechanism for knee pain. The articulation is subjected to daily loads, which are the main risk factor for arthrosis.
  2. Meniscopathy. Menisci are layers of cartilage inside a joint. When a knee injury occurs, it is these structures that are often damaged. Joints hurt with meniscopathy severely, pain occurs when you try to move. Treatment of pathology is operative.
  3. Arthritis of various origins. Pain in the knee joint with arthritis is inflammatory in nature, they may be associated with an infection of the joint itself or another organ. Pain in the knee joint can also occur with 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. Pain in the knees is accompanied by the presence of subcutaneous tophi, an increase in the level of uric acid in the blood.
  5. Inflammation of the tendons - tendonitis. Pain in the knee joint is very often associated with soft tissue damage. When microtrauma occurs in the tendon or ligament, pain occurs in the knee, it is associated with a local inflammatory reaction. The symptoms are aggravated 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 load the joint.
  7. Baker's cyst and other diseases of the articular bag. The knee joint has a complex structure, its synovial membrane has inversions and pockets. Pain in the knee can be caused by local inflammation of the joint capsule or the accumulation of inflammatory fluid in the popliteal space.
  8. Tumors. Neoplasms rarely affect the articulation area. Most often, pain in the knee associated with tumor growth occurs when metastases from another organ are present in the joint. In this case, the diagnosis is known, and treatment is already underway for oncology.

With these and other diseases, a person’s knees hurt, what to do in a particular situation, the attending physician will tell you.

Knee pain is not always a sign of a serious pathology, but worrying about your health is not superfluous.


doctor's appointment for pain in the joints of the arms and legs

Before prescribing treatment for joint pain, the doctor will need to make a definitive diagnosis. To do this, he will conduct several mandatory diagnostic procedures. The examination standard includes:

  • General analysis of blood and urine - will indicate the presence or absence of an inflammatory reaction.
  • Biochemical blood test - evaluates the function of the liver and kidneys, the state of protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • X-ray of affected joints. X-ray is performed in several projections and allows you to detect bone pathology.

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

  1. Computed tomography - allows you to detect even the smallest damage to bone tissue.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging - the method perfectly visualizes all soft tissues, including ligaments and menisci, tumors, cysts and other pathological formations.
  3. Ultrasound of the joints - detects abdominal and solid pathological formations, can measure the speed 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 - a liquid is drawn from the articulation cavity into the syringe, which is subjected to examination.

These diagnostic tools allow you to make the correct diagnosis with a high probability. Many procedures are expensive or have contraindications, so the need for research is determined individually.


the doctor examines the joints of the hands for pain

How to treat joints? For joint pain, there are a large number of remedies, techniques and folk recipes. The attending physician will help you choose the right methods of therapy.

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

Medical treatment

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

The most commonly used drugs are:

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

From what each specific drug helps, the attending physician should explain to the patient.

In vascular diseases, other drugs are prescribed. If you have diseases of the vessels of the lower extremities and at the same time the joints of the legs hurt, what to do and what treatment to choose, the attending physician decides.


physiotherapy for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

The use of various physiotherapeutic procedures complements the medical treatment.

The following techniques help with joint pain:

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

These and other techniques allow you to increase blood flow in the affected joint, relieve swelling, and increase the intensity of metabolic processes.

Therapeutic immobilization

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

You can not use the bandage for a long time, because the muscles under the orthotic design atrophy from inactivity. However, during heavy loads, support from immobilizing products is very useful.

Exercise therapy

exercises for pain in the joints of the legs and arms

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

The intensity, time of exercise to a large extent depend on the nature and severity of the disease. You need to start the exercises with breathing exercises and warming up small muscles.

Morning exercises for 20-30 minutes a day should be supplemented with swimming, Nordic walking and other aerobic activities.


Massage procedures perfectly relieve the patient from joint pain. What is the massage method used for? Procedures increase blood circulation, relieve swelling, reduce pain. You need to trust the implementation of this procedure to a specialist and undergo a massage after performing a set of exercises.


The key, and sometimes the only, role in the treatment of articular pathology is surgical intervention. Thus, the consequences of injuries, severe degrees of degenerative diseases, complications of articular pathology are treated.

The operation can be performed in various volumes: from plasty to prosthetics of the affected joint. Indications for intervention are determined by the attending physician of the patient together with the surgeon or traumatologist.

Treatment with folk remedies

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

Traditional medicine recipes are still popular in our country. It should be said that treatment with folk remedies is not a proven and proven method, and is used by patients at their own peril and risk.

For the treatment of pathology of the musculoskeletal system, the following folk remedies are used:

  1. Compresses from bay leaf and cabbage.
  2. Decoctions of sunflower root.
  3. Ointment from a golden mustache.
  4. Application inside the eggshell.
  5. Compresses from crushed chestnut.
  6. Grains of rye and other cereal structures in the form of decoctions.
  7. Boiled rice.
  8. Baking soda.

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