Joints are the parts of your body where the bones meet allowing the bones of the skeleton to move. Many people experience joint pain or discomfort and there are many causes. Sometimes the pain is a result of an illness or injury. One of the most common causes of joint pain is arthritis – osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is most common in adults over 40. It progresses slowly and affects commonly used joints like the wrists, hands, hips, and knees. RA affects about 1.5 million Americans. RA causes pain, inflammation, and fluid buildup in the joints as the body’s immune system attacks the membrane that lines the joints.
Other causes of joint pain can include overuse, bursitis (inflammation of the cushioning pads around the joints), tendinitis, lupus, gout, chondromalacia of the patella (breakdown of the cartilage in the kneecap), osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, cancer, or an injury.