Equip yourself. Learn about arthralgia.


Arthralgia is a medical term that refers to the symptom of joint pain. Some people distinguish it from arthritis, which is the word used when the medical condition is inflammatory in nature, while arthralgia is used when it is not inflammatory. However, as noted on this page, many conditions involving inflammation can lead to arthralgia. Note that other symptoms may also be present depending upon what has led to the condition.


Many different medical causes can be behind the sensation of joint pain. This site does not contain a comprehensive list of possibilities, however, some issues that may cause arthralgia are discussed or listed. Keep in mind that if a person does have this condition, it doesn't mean that one of the medical issues mentioned here is the reason for its existence.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

One of the possible causes for this type of joint pain is systemic lupus erythematosus. It is a type of autoimmune disorder, and may affect various locations throughout the individual's body. Inflammation and damage to tissue takes place as the immune system "attacks" the tissue and cells of the patient. In general, the disease does not follow a predictable course. There may be times of remission, as well as symptomatic episodes. There is no known cure for SLE, although its symptoms can be treated. Prognosis is relatively positive, as the five-year survival rate is roughly 95 percent in some places, such as the United States.

Read more about SLE.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory condition of unknown cause. It does have an autoimmune aspect to it, though, in its progression, as well as its chronic nature. Only around one percent of the population worldwide has this disorder. In general, women have it roughly three times more than men do. Symptoms may appear in many areas throughout the body.

Continue reading about rheumatoid arthritis.

Additional causes

Aside from the issues already mentioned, the following items are also possible arthralgia causes:

Bursitis - inflammation of the synovial bursae
Cancers that metastasize to bones
Crohn's disease - an intestinal inflammatory disease
Fibromyalgia - a disorder involving pain
Gout - a kind of inflammatory arthritis, usually recurring
Lyme disease - also known as Lyme borreliosis
Multiple myeloma - a plasma cell cancer
Osteomyelitis - bone/bone marrow infection
Osteosarcoma - a type of bone cancer
Scleroderma - a systemic autoimmune disorder