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arthralgia, arthralgia meaning
Arthralgia from Greek arthro-, joint + -algos, pain literally means joint pain;12 it is a symptom of injury, infection, illnesses in particular arthritis or an allergic reaction to medication3

According to MeSH, the term "arthralgia" should only be used when the condition is non-inflammatory, and the term "arthritis" should be used when the condition is inflammatory4


  • 1 Causes
  • 2 Diagnosis
  • 3 Treatment
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References


The causes of arthralgia are varied and range, from a joints perspective, from degenerative and destructive processes such as osteoarthritis and sports injuries to inflammation of tissues surrounding the joints, such as bursitis5 These might be triggered by other things, such as infections or vaccinations6

Cause Mono- or
Speed of onset
Rheumatoid arthritis Polyarticular 7 Weeks-months8
Systemic lupus erythematosus Polyarticular7 Months9
Viral arthritis Polyarticular7
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome 10
Reactive arthritis Polyarticular7
Rheumatic fever Polyarticular7
Lyme disease Polyarticular7
Gonococcal arthritis Polyarticular7
Drug-induced arthritis Polyarticular7
Ligamentous laxity Polyarticular7
Osteoarthritis Monoarticular7
Gout attack Monoarticular7 Hours11
Pseudogout Monoarticular7
Behcet's Disease Monoarticular7
Physical trauma Monoarticular7 Immediate
Septic arthritis Monoarticular7 Hours11
Hemarthrosis Monoarticular7


Diagnosis involves interviewing the patient and performing physical exams When attempting to establish the cause of the arthralgia, the emphasis is on the interview2 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 For example, the patient may be asked about dry mouth, light sensitivity, rashes or a history of seizures212 Answering yes or no to any of these questions limits the number of possible causes and guides the physician toward the appropriate exams and lab tests


Treatment depends on a specific underlying cause The underlying cause will be treated first and foremost The treatments may include joint replacement surgery for severely damaged joints, immunosuppressants for immune system dysfunction, antibiotics when an infection is the cause, and discontinuing medication when an allergic reaction is the cause When treating the primary cause, pain management may still play a role in treatment13 The extent of its role varies depending on the specific cause of the arthralgia Pain management may include stretching exercises, over the counter pain medications, prescription pain medication, or other treatments deemed appropriate for the symptoms Capsaicin, a substance found in chili peppers, may relieve joint pain from arthritis and other conditions Capsaicin blocks the actions of substance P, which helps transmit pain signals, and capsaicin triggers the release of pain-blocking chemicals in the body known as endorphins Side effects of capsaicin cream include burning or stinging in the area where it is applied Another topical option is an arthritis cream containing the ingredient, methyl salicylate Bengay

See alsoedit

  • Myalgia


  1. ^ "Arthralgia Definition" MedicineNetcom Archived from the original on 11 October 2007 Retrieved 2007-09-20 
  2. ^ a b c Joe G Hardin "Arthralgia" Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations Retrieved 2007-09-20 
  3. ^ James R Philp "Allergic Drug Reactions - Systemic Allergic Drug Reactions" Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations Retrieved 2007-09-20 
  4. ^ "MeSH" Retrieved 2007-12-23 
  5. ^ Joe G Hardin "Table 1611 Some Common Regional Rheumatic Syndromes" Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations Retrieved 2007-09-20 
  6. ^ Loris McVittie "Information from CDC and FDA on the Safety of Gardasil Vaccine" supplement to your biologics license application BLA for Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent Types 6, 11, 16 and 18 Vaccine, Recombinant GARDASIL, to include arthralgia, myalgia, asthenia, fatigue, and malaise in the Adverse Reactions section of the package insert Retrieved 2008-07-21 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Table 6-8 in: Elizabeth D Agabegi; Agabegi, Steven S 2008 Step-Up to Medicine Step-Up Series Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ISBN 0-7817-7153-6 
  8. ^ Diagnosis lag time of median 4 weeks, and median diagnosis lag time of 18 weeks, taken from: Chan, K W; Felson, D T; Yood, R A; Walker, A M 1994 "The lag time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis" Arthritis and rheumatism 37 6: 814–820 PMID 8003053 doi:101002/art1780370606 
  9. ^ Doria, A; Zen, M; Canova, M; Bettio, S; Bassi, N; Nalotto, L; Rampudda, M; Ghirardello, A; Iaccarino, L 2010 "SLE diagnosis and treatment: When early is early" Autoimmunity Reviews 10 1: 55–60 PMID 20813207 doi:101016/jautrev201008014 
  10. ^ http://wwwmayoclinicorg/diseases-conditions/ehlers-danlos-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20033656/
  11. ^ a b Page 740 upper right of page in: Schaider, Jeffrey; Wolfson, Allan B; Gregory W Hendey; Louis Ling; Carlo L Rosen 2009 Harwood-Nuss' Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine Harwood-Nuss Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ISBN 0-7817-8943-5 
  12. ^ "Table 159mptomatic Extraarticular Features of the Connective Tissue Diseases and the Spondyloarthropathies" Clinical Methods - The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations Retrieved 2007-09-20 
  13. ^ "Pain Management" Arthritis Action UK Arthritis Action Retrieved 16 October 2015 

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