Pain in the joints of the arms and legs. What to do, which doctor to contact? Causes, symptoms, treatment

Joint pain is a common reason for visiting a doctor. What to do if the joints in the arms and legs hurt depends on the cause of the problem.

Various causes of joint pain

The most common causes of joint pain are associated with the following conditions:

  • arthritis (infectious and rheumatic);
  • arthritis;
  • osteoarthritis;
  • psoriasis (psoriatic arthritis);
  • osteomyelitis;
  • osteophytes;
  • bursitis;
  • flat feet;
  • damage.
Pain in the joints of the hands

Pain can also be caused by neurological diseases and vascular diseases.


Arthritis is a common disease that often leads to disability.If in the past such a diagnosis was mainly only made for people over the age of 30, quite young people today also face it.

The most typical symptoms of arthritis include severe pain in the joints, which first occurs at night and then becomes constant. If arthritis affects the joints of the legs, there is an inconvenience when walking, the gait changes. The skin turns red, the muscles begin to break down, and body temperature may rise slightly.

After sleep, a feeling of stiffness occurs and the peak of the pain syndrome occurs.

There are two types of this disease:

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis.It can occur as a result of age-related changes, severe hypothermia, trauma as well as under the influence of hereditary factors.
  2. infectious arthritis.It develops on the background of various infectious diseases.

When exposed to arthritis, the articular cartilage is completely destroyed, accompanied by severe pain. Pain in the toes may radiate to the patella or groin area. The most reliable way to diagnose any type of arthritis is with x-rays.

There are the following methods for treating this disease:

  1. Antibiotics.They are prescribed when infectious tissue lesions are detected and help restore the joints.
  2. Ointments and gelsto relieve swelling, pain relief and reduce redness.
  3. Biologically active additives. Used to stimulate connective tissue, useful in the early stages of the disease as they can prevent the need for more serious treatment.
  4. Corticosteroids. They are introduced into the most affected joints, and can be used for many months if a pronounced positive effect is observed.

Drug treatment is effectively combined with physiotherapy exercises, physiotherapy, massage.


Arthritis most often affects the joints of fingers and toes, especially thumbs. In this case, the accumulation of uric acid salts in crystalline form occurs.

The disease can be recognized by the following signs:

  1. Pain in the joints of the arms and legs. What to do in this case, only a specialist can tell, but a clear sign of arthritis is sharp paroxysmal pain in the fingers. Most often, they manifest at night and become dull during the day.
  2. There are intervals between exacerbations, sometimes very long. They may give the false impression that there are no health problems.
  3. Deterioration of the general condition.
  4. An increase in temperature in the area of the diseased joint.
  5. Swelling of varying severity.
  6. The appearance of tophi - "nodules" under the skin, which consist of urate.

The following factors may affect the incidence of arthritis:

  • overweight;
  • regular consumption of strong coffee and alcohol;
  • kidney disease;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • malnutrition;
  • high blood pressure;
  • diabetes.

To diagnose the disease, blood and urine samples are examined, sometimes it is necessary to take a sample of synovial fluid.

The main goal of treatment is to follow a strict diet, which involves the rejection of fatty fish and meat, offal, broth, canned food, sausages, salt and spices. The use of coffee, tea and cocoa is maximally limited, alcoholic beverages are completely excluded. Without following the diet prescribed by the doctor, a full recovery is not possible.

Drug treatment is chosen individually depending on the characteristics of the disease course and the patient's condition. The drugs used reduce the production of uric acid salts, speed up the process of its withdrawal and have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.Compresses, lotions and wraps are also used.


Osteoarthritis is a serious disease that causes inflammation and swelling. Progress, it leads to a severe impairment of mobility and irreversible degradation of the joint. The first signs of the disease are expressed in numbness in the fingers and an unusual, strong feeling of fatigue.

In the early stages, it is difficult to recognize pain in small joints, so the most common complaint in patients is discomfort at the base of the fingers. If you try to bend them, the pain becomes even stronger. In most cases, osteoarthritis affects several joints at once. The problem can be diagnosed with X-rays.

The following factors may affect the development of the disease:

  • hormonal changes that lead to fluid retention in the body;
  • atherosclerosis of the extremities;
  • arthritis and other diseases associated with metabolic disorders;
  • diabetes;
  • influence of streptococci and staphylococci;
  • caries.

Osteoarthritis of the toes can develop due to incorrect foot placement, poor shoes, overweight, low mobility and other aggravating factors.

The joints in the arms and legs hurt, what to do with osteoarthritis, only a specialist can answer.

But today it is almost impossible to cure this disease with conservative methods. It is possible to perform intra-articular injections, but it is quite difficult and risky. Gels, ointments, compresses and lotions can provide an anti-inflammatory effect and relieve pain a little.

Manual therapy for joint pain caused by osteoarthritis

The methods of modern and classical manual therapy will help in this situation.Visible results can be achieved in just a few sessions, but achieving long-term remission is only possible at those stages of the disease when the destructive processes have not yet affected the bone.


Joint psoriasis, or psoriatic arthritis, sometimes affects people with psoriasis, a complex skin disease. It leads to pain and stiffness in the affected joints, which are chronic.

Psoriatic arthritis can start suddenly or develop gradually, so it is important to let your doctor know when the symptoms occur. At present, it is not known why psoriasis occurs, but doctors suggest that hereditary factors and the negative impact of the environment may influence the development.

People with psoriasis are prone to psoriatic arthritis

There is no specific treatment for this disease, therefore, in most cases, the therapy is aimed at reducing the inflammatory process, preventing pain and loss of joint function.In rare cases, resort to surgery.


Osteomyelitis is a purulent-inflammatory process in the bone marrow, periosteum and bone. Microorganisms such as E. coli, salmonella, streptococci and staphylococci most often lead to its development. In more rare situations, it turns out to be a complication of other diseases.

The disease is reflected in a person by general weakness in the body, soreness in the joints and muscle soreness.

Then there is a rapid rise in body temperature, the pain is clearly localized in the affected area, intensifying with each movement. Additionally, the purulent process begins to spread very rapidly to the surrounding tissues, sepsis may occur. It is necessary to take urgent measures at the slightest suspicion of the presence of this pathology, otherwise the patient can not be rescued.

The treatment is carried out using antibiotics, which are selected in accordance with the detected bacteria. Surgical therapy is very common.


Osteophytes are growths that develop when there is a violation of the supply of nutrients to the articular cartilage area.

You can identify their presence by the following features:

  • crunch in the joints;
  • discomfort in the joints when the weather changes;
  • difficulty stretching legs or arms after a night's sleep;
  • pain sensations.

Depending on the stage, treatment may be either conservative or involve surgery. Drug treatment involves the appointment of NSAIDs, chondroprotectors as well as agents that stimulate the improvement of tissue nutrition.

Often used intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid. Physiotherapeutic procedures and massage sessions have a positive effect.


Bursitis is an inflammatory process of mucous membranes located near the joints. Occurs most often in the shoulder joint, but also occurs in the knee, hip and elbow. The causative agent of the disease can be infections, injuries, mechanical damage, but often it appears for no apparent reason.

The joints in the arms and legs hurt, what to do with bursitis:

  • hibernation is provided;
  • antibiotics or corticosteroids are prescribed;
  • compresses are performed;
  • painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are used.

In some cases, surgery is necessary.

flat feet

Flat feet can lead to pain in the area of the joints of the legs. It can not manifest itself in any way for a long time, so it is especially important to pay attention to its signs.

They are the following:

  • difficult to keep the balance on the heels;
  • shoes are only trampled on one side;
  • when walking and standing, the legs quickly get tired;
  • at the end of the day the feet rise, become heavy;
  • leg cramps;
  • there is back pain;
  • old shoes get small.

The disease can be diagnosed with X-rays. The treatment is determined directly by the stage of the disease, the patient's lifestyle and the presence of concomitant diseases. In the early stages, physical education, therapeutic massage, physiotherapy are performed. If the problem is severe, special shoes are modeled that model the correct arch of the foot.


Joint injuries include ligament injuries, dislocations, bruises and intra-articular fractures. To clarify the diagnosis, they resort to a number of examinations, including CT, X-ray, MRI and ultrasound. The main symptoms are pain, swelling and movement limitations.

Physiotherapy can help relieve joint pain after an injury

The joints in the arms and legs hurt, what to do in case of injury:

  • contact a specialist to determine the nature of the injury;
  • give the damaged joint proper rest;
  • use a cooling compress.

Diet for diseases of the joints

Improper nutrition can not only aggravate the condition of the joints but also become the main cause of many serious diseases. Therefore, it is recommended to follow a balanced diet in the process of treating any problems associated with cartilage and connective tissue.

A specific nutritional system is prescribed in accordance with a specific disease, but there are also general recommendations:

  • limit the consumption of fast carbohydrates;
  • reduce the amount of salt in the diet;
  • refuse spicy foods, smoked meats and canned foods;
  • give preference to baking and stew, avoid fried foods.

Joint pain during pregnancy

What to do when the joints of the arms and legs hurt during pregnancy, only a specialist can answer. The fact is that we can talk about one of the pathological conditions and about a variant of the norm. When carrying a child, the hormonal background of a woman changes, which often negatively affects the joints. In addition, body weight increases, which inevitably increases the load on the legs.

During pregnancy, women are concerned about pain in the joints of the legs and arms

Joints are not always able to quickly adapt to this.The third trimester of pregnancy is characterized by swelling, which most often affects the feet and hands. In turn, this causes pain and a feeling of stiffness. In the first trimester, it is recommended to take more time to rest so that the body can more easily adapt to changes.

After consultation with a doctor and in the absence of contraindications, special gymnastics or yoga for pregnant women will be very useful. To cope with discomfort in the joints will help a full diet and drink enough fluids.

To alleviate the condition, it is recommended to follow these tips:

  • eat foods rich in vitamin D and calcium;
  • wear comfortable high-quality shoes without heels;
  • control weight gain, prevent its sudden jump;
  • spend more time outdoors
  • take special complexes for pregnant women (after consultation with a specialist);
  • give up monotonous physical work;
  • do yoga, gymnastics or swimming (in the absence of contraindications);
  • maintain a stable psycho-emotional state;
  • perform self-massage of hands and knees with soft rubbing and clapping movements.
Self-massage of the knees in case of joint pain during pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is very important to be aware of any pain in a timely manner, including in the joints. Giving birth to a child can negatively affect the course of any pathological process, aggravate it and accelerate the development of the disease.

Home treatment methods

The use of folk medicine is one of the good ways to speed up the process of treating joint diseases, relieving symptoms and relieving the patient's condition.

Of all home remedies, the following are the most popular:

  • heating compresses based on paraffin, salt, clay or potatoes;
  • lotions and ointments with alcohol infusions;
  • baths, lotions and compresses from decoction of plants;
  • compresses with honey.

Depending on the goals, you can resort to the following procedures:

  1. To get rid of pain, the most useful products are based on honey, alcohol, turpentine, by-products. Even a single application of a compress greatly relieves the condition if the pain is moderate.
  2. Therapeutic compress on the knee joint to relieve pain
  3. Potato compresses are widely used to heat the joints. Warm mashed potatoes are applied to the joint area, covered with a film and wrapped in a scarf. Store the compress until the potatoes have cooled completely.
  4. Alcohol-based products have good anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. To prepare the simplest of them, it is enough to soak gauze with vodka and apply as a compress overnight.
  5. To relieve swelling, it is recommended to drink cranberry and cranberry fruit drinks, decoction of bay leaves and cranberry leaves as well as diuretic preparations at the pharmacy.

The safest (also during pregnancy) are the following recipes:

  • foot and hand baths with birch leaves or pine needles;
  • compresses of honey and salt;
  • application of internal fat in the form of an ointment to the joints of the legs;
  • lotions from pine buds with sugar.

Prevention of joint diseases

With age, the risk of joint pain increases, so it is recommended to start prevention at a young age.

To prevent joint disease, it is recommended:

  • lift weights correctly, avoid unnecessary strain on the joints;
  • avoid unhealthy weight gain;
  • eat as balanced as possible, supply the body with a sufficient amount of calcium, magnesium, collagen, fatty acids;
  • do not neglect physical activity, as a strong muscle cross reduces the strain on the joints significantly;
  • maintain proper posture;
  • reduce the amount of sugar consumed;
  • if possible, get rid of bad habits (smoking and alcohol consumption);
  • take time to properly organize the workplace where you do not have to strain your back and neck, throw your head back, lean forward;
  • to interrupt in a timely manner in the process of performing professional activities, if associated with a prolonged static position, to make a warm-up.

The common myth that joints can only hurt the elderly causes many people to ignore the first symptoms of serious illness and only turn to a specialist as a last resort. In fact, many of the diseases can overtake even very young people.

Even arthritis, which for many years was considered an age-related problem, is increasingly overtaking men and women under the age of thirty.

What to do when the joints of the legs and arms hurt, in each situation only a doctor can tell, who will quickly establish an accurate diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment. When painful sensations occur, it is not recommended to immediately resort to self-medication and alternative methods, as we can talk about severe degenerative processes that often prove to be irreversible and lead to complications.