AskDefine | Define arthralgia

Dictionary Definition

arthralgia n : pain in a joint or joints

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Pain in bone joints not caused by arthritis.

Extensive Definition

Arthralgia (from Greek arthro-, joint + -algos, pain) literally means joint pain; it is a symptom of injury, infection, illnesses -- in particular arthritis-- or an allergic reaction to medication.
According to MeSH, the term "arthralgia" should only be used when the condition is non-inflammatory, and the term "arthritis" should be used when the condition is inflammatory.

Diagnosis and causes

Diagnosis involves interviewing the patient and performing physical exams. When attempting to establish the cause of the arthralgia, the emphasis is on the interview Answering yes or no to any of these questions limits the number of possible causes and guides the doctor toward the appropriate exams and lab tests.
The causes of arthralgia are varied and range from, a joints perspective, degenerative and destructive processes such as osteoarthritis and sports injuries to inflammation of tissues surrounding the joints (e.g. bursitis, a painful inflammation of bursa, fluid filled sacks around the joints).


Treatment depends on specific underlying cause. The underlying cause will be treated first and foremost. The treatments may include joint replacement surgery, for severely damaged joints, immunosuppressants for immune system dysfunction, antibiotics when an infection is the cause, and discontinuing medication when an allergic reaction is the cause. When treating the primary cause, pain management may still play a role in treatment. The extent of its role varies depending on the specific cause of the arthralgia. Pain management may include stretching exercises, over the counter pain medications, prescription pain medication, or other treatments deemed appropriate for the symptoms.

See also


External links

arthralgia in German: Arthralgie
arthralgia in French: Arthralgie
arthralgia in Italian: Artralgia
arthralgia in Polish: Artralgia
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