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

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

Various causes of joint pain

The most common causes of joint pain are related to the following conditions:

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

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


Arthritis is a common disease that often leads to disability.If earlier such a diagnosis was given mainly to people over 30, today many young people also face it.

The most typical symptoms of arthritis include severe joint pain, which first appears only at night and then becomes permanent. If arthritis affects the joints of the legs, there is discomfort when walking, gait changes. The skin becomes red, the muscles begin to break down and the body temperature may rise slightly.

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

There are two forms of this disease:

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

When exposed to arthritis, the articular cartilage is completely destroyed, accompanied by severe pain. The pain in the toes can radiate to the knee caps or groin area. The most reliable way to diagnose any form of arthritis is through X-rays.

There are the following methods of treating this disease:

  1. Antibiotics.They are prescribed for the detection of infectious tissue lesions and help to restore joints.
  2. Ointments and gelsto relieve swelling, relieve pain and reduce redness.
  3. Biologically active additives. They are 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.


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

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 gout is acute paroxysmal pain in the fingers. Most often they appear at night and become boring during the day.
  2. There are intervals between exacerbations, sometimes very long. They can give the false impression that there are no health problems.
  3. Deterioration of the general condition.
  4. Increase in temperature in the area of the diseased joint.
  5. Swelling of varying severity.
  6. The appearance of toffee - "knots" under the skin, which consist of urate.

The following factors can affect the onset of gout:

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

Blood and urine tests are performed to diagnose the disease, and it is sometimes necessary to take a synovial fluid sample.

The main measure of treatment is adherence to a strict diet, which involves the rejection of oily fish and meat, offal, broths, canned food, sausages, salt and spices. The use of coffee, tea and cocoa is limited as much as possible, alcoholic beverages are completely excluded. Without following the diet prescribed by the doctor, full recovery is not possible.

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


Osteoarthritis is a serious disease that causes inflammation and swelling. As it progresses, it leads to serious impairment of mobility and irreversible breakdown of the joint. The first signs of the disease are numbness of the fingers and an unusually strong feeling of fatigue.

In the early stages, it is difficult to recognize the pain in the small joints, so the most common complaint of 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 an X-ray.

The following factors can affect the development of the disease:

  • hormonal changes leading to fluid retention in the body;
  • atherosclerosis of the limbs;
  • gout and other diseases associated with metabolic disorders;
  • diabetes;
  • influence of streptococci and staphylococci;
  • caries.

Osteoarthritis of the joints of the toes can develop against the background of improper placement of the feet, wearing bad shoes, being overweight, low mobility and other aggravating factors.

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

But today it is almost impossible to cure this disease with conservative methods. Intra-articular injections are possible, but quite difficult and risky. Gels, ointments, compresses and lotions can provide anti-inflammatory and mildly relieve pain.

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 possible only in 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 condition. 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 tell your doctor when the symptoms appear. It is currently unknown why psoriasis occurs, but doctors suggest that hereditary factors and negative environmental influences may affect its development.

People with psoriasis are prone to psoriatic arthritis

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


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

The disease affects humans through general body weakness, joint pain and muscle pain.

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

The treatment is performed with antibiotics, which are selected in accordance with the detected bacteria. Surgical therapy is widely used.


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

You can identify their presence by the following characteristics:

  • crunch in the joints;
  • joint discomfort with changing weather;
  • difficulty in lengthening the legs or arms after a night's sleep;
  • pain sensations.

Depending on the stage, treatment may be conservative or include surgery. Drug therapy includes the appointment of NSAIDs, chondroprotectors, as well as drugs that stimulate the improvement of tissue nutrition.

Intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid is often used. Physiotherapy procedures and massage sessions have a positive effect.


Bursitis is an inflammatory process of the mucous sacs located near the joints. It is most common in the shoulder joints, but is also found in the knee, hip and elbow. The cause of the disease can be infections, injuries, mechanical damage, but it often occurs for no apparent reason.

Pain in the joints of the hands and feet, what to do with bursitis:

  • rest regime is provided;
  • antibiotics or corticosteroids are prescribed;
  • compresses are made;
  • painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are used.

In some cases, surgery is needed.

flat steps

Flat feet can cause pain in the joints of the feet. It may 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:

  • heel balance is difficult to maintain;
  • shoes are trampled on one side only;
  • when walking and standing up, the legs get tired quickly;
  • by the end of the day the legs swell, become heavy;
  • leg cramps;
  • there is back pain;
  • old shoes become small.

The disease can be diagnosed with an X-ray. Treatment is determined directly by the stage of the disease, the patient's lifestyle and the presence of concomitant diseases. In the early stages are conducted physical education, therapeutic massage, physiotherapy. If the problem is serious, special shoes are prescribed that model the correct arch of the foot.


Joint injuries include ligament injuries, sprains, bruises and intra-articular fractures. To clarify the diagnosis, they resorted to a number of tests, including CT, radiography, MRI and ultrasound. The main symptoms are pain, swelling and restriction of movement.

Physiotherapy can help relieve joint pain after an injury

Sore joints of the hands and feet, what to do in case of injury:

  • contact a specialist to determine the nature of the injury;
  • provide the injured person with adequate rest;
  • use a cooling compress.

Diet for joint diseases

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

In accordance with a specific disease, a specific food system is prescribed, but there are also general recommendations:

  • limiting the consumption of fast carbohydrates;
  • reduce the amount of salt in the diet;
  • refuse spicy foods, smoked meats and canned food;
  • give preference to baking and stewing, avoiding fried foods.

Joint pain during pregnancy

What to do when the joints of the hands and feet hurt during pregnancy can only be answered by a specialist. The fact is that we can talk about one of the pathological conditions and a variant of the norm. When carrying a child, a woman's hormonal background changes, which often has a negative effect on the joints. In addition, body weight increases, which inevitably increases the load on the legs.

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

The joints cannot always adapt to this quickly.The third trimester of pregnancy is characterized by swelling, which most often affects the legs and arms. This in turn causes pain and a feeling of stiffness. During the first trimester, it is recommended that you spend more time resting so that your body can more easily adapt to the changes.

After consulting a doctor and in the absence of contraindications, special gymnastics or yoga for pregnant women will be very useful. To cope with the discomfort in the joints will help a complete diet and drinking plenty of fluids.

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

  • eat foods rich in vitamin D and calcium;
  • wear comfortable high-quality shoes without heels;
  • control weight gain, prevent sudden jumps;
  • 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);
  • maintains a stable psycho-emotional state;
  • perform self-massage of the hands and knees with gentle rubbing and tapping movements.
Self-massage of the knees for joint pain during pregnancy

During pregnancy it is very important to pay attention to any pain in a timely manner, including in the joints. The birth of a child can adversely affect the course of any pathological process, exacerbating it and accelerating the development of the disease.

Home methods of treatment

The use of folk remedies is one of the good ways to speed up the healing process of joint diseases, relieve symptoms and alleviate the patient's condition.

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

  • warming compresses based on paraffin, salt, clay or potatoes;
  • lotions and ointments with alcoholic infusions;
  • baths, lotions and compresses of decoctions of plants;
  • compresses with honey.

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

  1. To get rid of pain, the most useful products are based on honey, alcohol, turpentine, bee products. Even a single application of a compress significantly 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 warm the joints. Warm mashed potatoes are applied to the joint area, covered with a film and wrapped in a scarf. Hold 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 edema, it is recommended to drink fruit drinks from blueberries and cranberries, decoctions of bay leaf and blueberry leaves, as well as pharmaceutical diuretics.

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

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

Prevention of joint diseases

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

To prevent joint disease it is recommended:

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

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

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

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