If you’ve suddenly developed joint pain with no apparent cause, you need to call your doctor and schedule the soonest available appointment. The quicker you receive a medical evaluation, the quicker you’ll receive a diagnosis necessary for the proper course of treatment.
There are several potential causes of widespread sudden onset joint pain. Some causes are more severe than others, and each reason requires a specific type of medical treatment.
What Can Cause Widespread Sudden Onset Joint Pain?
If your body is sore from a particularly intense workout or overtaxed from an excessive amount of physical activity, you’re likely already aware of the cause of your pain. You need to rest up for a while, and a doctor’s appointment is still a good idea.
If the pain has no apparent direct cause, it may be due to several conditions that negatively impact your joint health. It’s easy to read things online and self-diagnose, but it’s never a good idea.
These are things you should use as talking points at your next doctor’s visit, rather than assumptions you should make.
General Redness and Swelling
Excessive redness and swelling throughout the body can affect the joints, leading to widespread discomfort. When swelling is the culprit, the muscles will also ache.
Your extremities may appear swollen. If this inflammation comes in conjunction with a fever or other symptoms of illness, you need to go to the emergency room immediately.
Conditions Like Arthritis
Arthritis is an extremely common condition. It affects nearly 1 in 4 adults in the United States of America. If you have family members with arthritis, you likely already suspect it to be the cause of your joint pain.
There are several different types of arthritis. Some are degenerative and occur when the tissue surrounding the joints begins to erode.
Others are autoimmune, where the body mistakenly attacks its own joint tissue.
Other Conditions That Cause Joint Pain
Joint pain can stem from conditions like bursitis, an inflammation of the tiny sacs that cushion the joint. It can also stem from conditions like fibromyalgia. The medical community doesn’t understand fibromyalgia well, and medical professionals are unsure why people with fibromyalgia experience joint pain.
What to Expect at The Doctor’s Office
When you arrive at the doctor’s office, your doctor will conduct two types of examinations. You may be asked a lot of questions, so be prepared to answer them. It may help to keep a journal of your symptoms, detailing how you feel and when.
This can help your doctor narrow down the potential causes of your joint pain.
Your doctor will examine all of your joints, including the joints that aren’t currently uncomfortable. Simple range of motion tests will be conducted. Your doctor may listen for clicking noises as you move your extremities.
Your doctor will perform a visual inspection of your joints, checking for redness or signs of swelling. They may apply pressure to the joints or manipulate them to detect the effects of joint inflammation.
Blood tests and joint fluid tests can help your doctor look for the presence of antibodies or other harmful substances that may indicate joint conditions. In some cases, imaging tests are necessary to view the joint from an interior perspective.
Managing Joint Pain
Whether you’re officially diagnosed with a condition that impacts the health of your joints or the pain is temporary, you’ll still need an effective way to manage discomfort.
Joint pain can place limitations on your activity and be disruptive to your life.
According to Your Doctors Instructions
Listen to your doctor. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter products or prescription medication to treat your joint pain. If you want to modify that regimen or add anything to it, talk to your doctor first.
Some medications and treatment plans don’t work well together. Get the green light before you try anything new.
Integrating Complementary Medicine
Many doctors recommend physical therapy or massage therapy for people with joint pain. In many cases, health insurance will cover at least part of the cost for each session.
You don’t necessarily need to wait to see a doctor before you get a massage. If your appointment is next week and you’re hurting right now, schedule a same-day appointment with a licensed massage therapist at a reputable facility. Since this message will be medical in nature, make sure the person performing that massage has the proper qualifications.
If your joint pain is accompanied by tension, stretching may help you feel better. You don’t even need to leave your house to get a good stretching session in. There are hundreds of yoga instructional videos available for free on the internet, and many of them are provided by professional yoga instructors.
Follow along with a low-intensity beginner-level video and see how you feel. If you feel relief an hour or so after a yoga session, it may be worth adding yoga into your daily routine.
Using Topical Relief Products
People with joint pain often become too reliant on over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen. While these medicines aren’t harmful in small doses, you don’t want to down them all day.
Anti-inflammatories can irritate your stomach, and excessive acetaminophen ingestion can cause liver damage. Applying topical products directly to the affected joint directs the relief exactly where you need it.
These products aren’t processed by your body the same way over-the-counter medications are, so there’s no reason to worry about undue risks to your health.
Hempvana Can Help
Nothing directly heals joints, but glucosamine and chondroitin work together to provide cushion and preserve joints.
At Hempvana, we use hemp oil in the formulation of our gel because it’s excellent for your skin. Hemp oil is an occlusive moisturizer, drawing water to the skin and helping to fortify its protective barrier.
Hemp oil also gives the gel a nice texture, making it easier to massage into the joints—the better the massage, the greater the relief. Massage therapy encourages the active ingredients to penetrate the skin more effectively, and massage all by itself works to improve circulation.
For example, arthritis gloves help provide compression to achy finger joints and encourage swelling to subside. You can wear them for as long as you need to wear them. Some people find that wearing them to bed is especially helpful, as they don’t wake up with swollen knuckles.