Pain in the joints of the arms and legs

pain in the joints of the hands and feet

Often, after strenuous physical work or sports training, a person notices that his arms and legs hurt. If such a condition is associated with overexertion or fatigue, the pain usually disappears after a few days. But it so happens that this discomfort worries a person regularly and can appear regardless of physical activity. In this case, the pain could be caused by serious health problems that require treatment.

The appearance of joint pain - arthralgia - can be observed against the background of general well-being. Painful sensations appear, as a rule, after excessive physical exertion and can be observed in pregnant women. Recently, complaints of joint pain in children, caused by the rapid development of the musculoskeletal system, have become more frequent.

In other cases, joint pain is a symptom of some pathology, a sign of an inflammatory or destructive process, an autoimmune disease. For complete joint treatment, it is important to determine the root cause of the onset of pain.

Problem overview

Pain in the legs and arms is a fairly common occurrence. This problem is usually not related to age, even children and teenagers often suffer from these sensations. In them, this is usually associated with rapid growth or increased physical exertion. And in adults, regular pain in the limbs can be caused by various diseases.

Such pain can come from any part of the limb. Most of the time, the feet in the legs hurt as they are subjected to the greatest stress. The knees, calves and hip joint can also be affected. In the hands, the pain is mainly located in the forearm and shoulder. But often these sensations occur in the hands, preventing the person from carrying out normal work.

Bones, joints, muscles can hurt. Often the problem appears due to impaired blood circulation and tissue nutrition. Sometimes the discomfort is also transmitted through nerve fibers from other parts of the body. Such radiating pains can appear in diseases of the spine, myocardial infarction, renal or biliary colic. In this case, the pain appears on the right or left, depending on which organ is affected.

This pain is usually mild, people describe it as a feeling of pain, discomfort. The pain may occur only during movement and subside at rest or constantly disturb a person.

Caution: If the pain is not associated with physical activity or is accompanied by additional symptoms, you should consult a doctor.

Without treatment, this pain can become chronic and lead to decreased performance or even disability. It is especially important to visit a doctor if limb pain occurs at the same time as other symptoms. It could be fever, weakness, chills, nausea. Usually this condition appears with serious pathologies that require immediate treatment.


The most common cause of limb pain is joint fatigue. Most often they appear the next day after sports training. But it could be after working in the field, carrying heavy loads, general cleaning, or outdoor activities. This usually happens in physically untrained people.

Such pain is called krepatura. They don't just show up. Most of the time, the pain is a consequence of microtrauma of the muscle fibers. If this happens often, they don't have time to heal and inflammation sets in. As a result, the blood supply to the tissues can be disturbed, ischemia develops. Intense exercise can also lead to sprains and tears in muscles or ligaments. All these factors usually cause pain that lasts for 3 to 5 days. But the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles cannot be the cause of such a prolonged pain, it resolves in a few hours.

joint pain in legs and arms

But there are more serious reasons for this problem. There are several groups of pathologies that can cause leg and arm pain. They differ in the mechanism of formation and location. But they have one thing in common: one of the manifestations is pain in the limbs.

What diseases can cause this symptom:

  • pathology of blood vessels and veins, usually of the lower extremities;
  • infectious diseases;
  • poisoning and other conditions that cause intoxication of the body;
  • inflammatory pathologies of joints, muscles, nervous tissues;
  • degenerative diseases of the joints and bones;
  • autoimmune pathologies;
  • hormonal disturbances;
  • tumors.

circulatory disorders

Diseases of blood vessels and veins are quite common. They occur in men and women of all ages. Most of the time they are varicose veins. At the same time, the legs ache, heaviness is felt, convulsions may appear. Gradually, the enlarged veins become visible through the skin. With age, thrombophlebitis and thrombosis are also common, the symptoms of which can be sharp throbbing pains in a leg or arm. Atherosclerosis of blood vessels can also cause them to become blocked, which is the cause of painful sensations, especially pressing or squeezing, aggravated by movement.

Less common vascular pathologies include:

  • obliterating endoarteritis;
  • embolism of the main arteries;
  • Raynaud's disease;
  • arteriovenous dysplasia.

In case of circulatory disorders, in addition to pain in the arms and legs, numbness, a feeling of crawling, cold extremities often appear. The muscles weaken, the fingers swell, it becomes difficult to move and things fall out of the hands. If the small vessels of the extremities are affected, blue or purple spots may appear on the skin, the nails turn blue.

Attention: it is especially dangerous if the pain in the left arm is accompanied by shortness of breath, weakness, heaviness in the chest. This could be a sign of a myocardial infarction.

Pathologies associated with circulatory disorders include prolonged immobilization. And this happens not just with forced immobility after an injury. Blood circulation can be disturbed due to prolonged stay in one position, for example while traveling or during sedentary work.


Often the hands and feet hurt with viral diseases. Such sensations are considered a classic flu symptom. They are associated with the fact that in order to fight infection in the body, special substances are formed - prostaglandins. They cause an increase in temperature and pain. In addition, this pain may be associated with the intoxication and fever that accompany infectious diseases.

Most often, pain in the limbs occurs with flu, SARS, bronchitis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis, rubella, chickenpox. Such sensations can be a symptom of borreliosis, botulism, paratyphoid, salmonellosis, cholera and many parasitic diseases.

flu as a cause of joint pain in the legs and arms


Intoxication often causes pain in the muscles of the arms and legs. This is due to cell death, which occurs when toxins or poisons enter the body, for example, a large amount of alcohol, an overdose of certain drugs. This often happens with food poisoning. Limb pain accompanies nausea, abdominal pain, and intestinal discomfort.

Poisoning also occurs with the bites of ticks, some other insects, snakes. In this case, convulsions, allergic manifestations and respiratory failure may occur. And ticks often carry infectious diseases, the first manifestations of which are pain in the limbs.

joint pathologies

People over the age of 45 often suffer from joint pain in the arms and legs. A person's limbs are constantly in motion, so the joints wear out. And with age, metabolic processes slow down, which negatively affects the state of articular cartilage and other tissues. Therefore, pathologies such as arthritis, arthrosis, gout are often found. They can affect any joint in the limbs. With osteochondrosis or spondyloarthrosis, in addition to the spine, arms or legs can also hurt.

With all these diseases, the joints of the arms and legs hurt, the pain can spread to the muscles and other surrounding tissues. For example, osteoarthritis mainly affects large joints. But the pain can be felt in the bones and muscles located next to them. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the finger joints. Pain doesn't just occur during exercise. It is felt even at rest and can spread to the palms, wrists, forearms.

bone pathologies

In some diseases, the bones of the arms and legs are affected. At the same time, a person experiences painful sensations that prevent him from leading a normal life. This happens with osteomyelitis, osteomalacia or osteoporosis. These pathologies are associated with infection in the bone tissue or a lack of calcium in it.

muscle pain

This is the most common reason for such feelings. Pain in the muscles can appear with overwork, after injuries, with myositis. Under the influence of unfavorable external factors, the muscles become inflamed, ischemia sometimes occurs due to circulatory disorders. In this case, the so-called "trigger points" appear, that is, areas of increased pain. The pain can be painful, weak or sharp, excruciating. It is localized in one place or it can spread to all members. This often results in muscle weakness.

This condition is called myofascial pain syndrome. It can occur after increased physical exertion, while usually the right leg or arm hurts more. The cause of pain can be wearing uncomfortable shoes, anomalies in skeletal development, scoliosis, prolonged immobilization after injury or illness. Also, this condition often accompanies people of certain professions. For example, office workers, tailors, hairdressers have a sore right hand.

If muscle pain occurs due to hypothermia or infection, this is myositis. The pathology is accompanied by quite intense pain. In this case, the temperature may rise, the member swells. Polymyositis is accompanied by painful weakness, increased fatigue.

other diseases

Similar painful sensations can be a symptom of many other pathologies. Weakness and pain in the limbs often occur with increased blood pressure, sleep disturbances, and vegetative-vascular dystonia. The cause of pain can be blood disorders, endocrine pathologies, the growth of malignant tumors.

Often this pain is caused by nerve tissue damage. It could be neuromas, neuralgia or neuritis. Pain in the back of the thigh can be caused by sciatica, and the wrist is often affected by the carpal tunnel.


When, after examination, the doctor cannot find the cause of the pain, and it lasts for several months, the patient may be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This pathology is quite common, but so far scientists cannot determine what is its cause. It is also difficult to diagnose the disease as neither tests nor hardware diagnostics detect it. Only general symptoms allow us to talk about the prevalence of the pathology.

Fibromyalgia mainly occurs in women. This is believed to be due to a decrease in the pain threshold. The source of the problem is in the brain. Often, after severe stress, a person notices that their arms or legs hurt. This usually happens the next morning.

examination by a doctor for joint pain in the arms and legs

Basically, the discomfort is located in the shoulder girdle, elbows, hips or knees. In addition to pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons, the patient has weakness, decreased performance, increased fatigue, deterioration of mood and memory. He often has insomnia, depression, cannot relax, suffers from headaches.

Treatment features

If the limbs began to ache after physical exertion, you can relieve their condition yourself. To do this, it is recommended to take a relaxing bath and relax. After minor injuries, it is recommended to apply a cold compress to the damaged area. It is advisable to avoid stress for a few days, and the pain will soon disappear.

But it turns out that all this does not help, the pain lasts for several weeks, and the patient does not know what to do to get rid of the discomfort. The best thing to do is see a doctor and get tested. After all, only after it is clear why the limbs hurt will it be possible to choose the right treatment.

Important: Some people with these problems start taking pain relievers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on their own. But, in addition to causing many side effects, they do not always help.

Only a doctor after the examination will be able to determine how to treat the pathology. It depends on what caused the pain, where they are located, how intense they are.

Typically, pain relievers or NSAIDs are used for treatment. For severe pain, the doctor may prescribe anesthetic injections into the pain projection sites or corticosteroid injections.

In addition to these drugs, and in mild cases independently, external agents are used. These can be ointments or gels based on NSAIDs, capsaicin, bee venom, essential oils. They have an analgesic, warming and distracting effect, helping to relieve muscle spasms and improve blood circulation.

Other means are also included in the complex treatment of such pathologies. Your choice depends on the cause of the pain. For example, in the case of joint pathologies, chondroprotectors are prescribed to restore cartilage tissue. And with fibromyalgia, antidepressants help.

Muscle relaxants are often used to relieve muscle spasms, which can worsen or cause pain. To restore blood circulation and nerve conduction, multivitamin preparations are needed, especially those containing B vitamins. Preparations that improve peripheral circulation and accelerate tissue regeneration are also effective.

Often, these pains reduce limb mobility, muscles weaken, and joints lose elasticity. To restore the functions of the hands and feet, massage and physiotherapy exercises are used. They help restore normal muscle tone, improve joint mobility. And strengthening the muscle corset allows you to avoid these problems in the future.


Pain in the arms and legs is rarely a serious pathology, most often it occurs when there is overwork. But this pain can indicate the development of certain diseases that, if left untreated, will lead to complications. Therefore, you should not ignore pain that lasts longer than a week. It's best to see a doctor who can help determine its cause and prescribe treatment.