05 Common Causes of Joint Pain

most common causes of joint pain

Most common causes of joint pain

Joints help your skeletal bones to move. Some of the common joints include the shoulder, elbow, knee, and hip joint.  Any discomfort, soreness, or pain in any of the joints refers to joint pain. The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis. Any illness, injury, or disease can also cause joint pain.

The most common causes of joint pain include


  1. A common condition in people with advancing age. It damages your joints and causes joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Advancing age naturally leads to wear and tear of joints. However, certain joint conditions and injuries can also cause arthritis. It commonly affects the hands & wrists, knees, and hip joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common ones.

Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type. It can lead to joint stiffness, pain, and inflammation. It affects people above 40 years of age and is common in women. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of joint pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: It is an autoimmune condition. An inflammatory type of arthritis. In this condition, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy tissues in the joints causing pain and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause permanent damage to joints.

Avascular necrosis

In this condition, bone tissue dies due to a cut-off in the blood supply. It is also known as osteonecrosis.  The bone breaks into tiny pieces and collapses. The condition may take several months to years to develop. Mild to severe pain develops gradually.


Small cushion-like sacs filled with fluid called bursae cushion the muscles, tendons, and bones around the joints. The large joints such as the shoulder, elbow, knees, and hips have major bursae. Inflammation of these bursae is known as bursitis. Injuries, overuse, and infections can cause bursitis. It causes joint pain.

Adult Still Disease

Adult-onset Still’s disease or Wissler-Fanconi syndrome is a type of arthritis with no known cause (idiopathic). It affects both men and women equally. In the beginning, it causes pain in a few joints, but over time, the pain spreads to the entire body.

The disease onset with a high fever (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pinkish rash on the arms, legs, back, chest, and abdomen. The rash disappears once the fever drops.

The other symptoms may include fatigue, sore throat, headache, abdominal pain, and swollen lymph glands in the neck. A few weeks later, the muscles and joints in the wrists and knee joint begin to swell, pain, and become stiff.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (axial spondyloarthritis) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that mostly affects the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. Over time, the vertebrae fuse making the spine less flexible and leading to a hunched posture. The symptoms may include back pain, and stiffness in the lower back and hip joint.

Bottom Line

Joint pain can be due to normal wear and tear or advancing age. However, it can also be due to certain health conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or an infection or injury. Therefore, if you experience persistent joint pain that doesn’t get better with rest and medication, then you should see a specialist orthopedic doctor. Your orthopedic doctor can comprehensively evaluate your condition based on the symptoms, physical examination, and X-rays. Once the underlying cause is determined, the doctor provides effective treatment.

Meet Dr. Praharsha Mulpur, if you experience persistent joint pain.