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Why do I have joint pain and stiffness all over my body?

joint pain and stiffness all over body
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key takeaways

  1. Joint pain and stiffness in the body can be caused due to different causes, including Autoimmune diseases (Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus Ethmatosus), infections, anxiety, stress, and medications. 
  2. Over-the-counter medications can help in giving temporary relief for the joint pain. Getting a medical consultation for the correct diagnosis of the underlying condition and prescription medication is beneficial. 

Overview

Joint pain and persistent stiffness in joints can be caused due to various factors, from aging to stress, anxiety, lupus erythematosus, and osteoarthritis. Pain can be relieved by over-the-counter medications as well as by prescription medications by healthcare providers. NSAIDs used for joint pain and stiffness are Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, Diclofenac, etodolac, meloxicam, oxaprozin, and Piroxicam. 

Why do I have joint pain and stiffness all over my body suddenly?

Stiffness and joint pain all over the body can be initiated and caused due to diverse reasons. Causes can range from stress, anxiety, medications, or serious medical conditions like autoimmune diseases affecting a person’s overall health.

Following are the detailed causes of stiffness and joint pain in the body. 

1. Autoimmune diseases

Auto-immune diseases are diseases in which the immune system of a human starts affecting the body’s healthy cells, often leading to inflammation in the specified areas. Following are the autoimmune diseases that affect the body’s joints, leading to stiffness and joint pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

It’s a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the limbs in the body. It’s also an autoimmune disease specifically targeting the joints of the feet and hands. Bones of the hands and feet usually show bent curvature when affected with rheumatoid arthritis for longer periods of time.

The joints of the affected area get inflamed, causing pain and stiffness.

Lupus erythematosus

Lupus is also an autoimmune inflammatory disease causing stiffness and pain in the body. It’s a serious medical condition where the body’s immune system attacks the healthy tissue of the body, causing extreme fatigue, inability to work or walk for longer periods, and pain all over the body.

It can be diagnosed with different medical diagnostic tests, while the most visible indication of lupus is the red patch on one or both cheeks of the face with the specific butterfly-winged shape. 

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Other Autoimmune disorders

Some of the other autoimmune disorders can also cause pain and stiffness all over the body. Conditions such as Polymyalgia rheumatica (inflammation around hips and shoulders), Multiple sclerosis (damaged nerve coverings), and Ankylosis spondylitis (spine and large joints) are autoimmune and serious conditions causing inflammation in the affected areas. 

2. Infections leading to pain /stiffness in the joints

Infections, either bacterial or viral, can sometimes cause pain, lethargy, and stiffness all over the body. Conditions causing pain and stiffness are :

  • Flu 
  • Lyme Disease

 Flu is caused by the Influenza virus, usually leading to runny nose, headache, and fatigue. It can also cause elevated body temperature, joint pain, and joint stiffness. A person suffering from the flu will find it difficult to perform normal physical activity due to an overall lethargic feeling in the body.

The bite of black ticks causes Lyme disease. After being bitten by ticks body responds to it by increasing the body’s temperature and pain in the knees, pain in the Joints of the knees will be felt along with the difficulty in moving.

Were you bitten by a black tick and concerned about the pain afterward? Get consultation now.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a medical condition affecting cartilage present in the joints. Two main causes of osteoarthritis are

  • Age 
  • Injury/trauma 

With age, the cartilage in the joints starts to deplete and become weaker with porosity all over. It can lead to conditions like osteoarthritis. After the cartilage gets affected and weak, movement can cause pain and stiffness in the joints and body, making it difficult to walk or run. It also happens after a severe shock or injury to the joints. 

4. Medications causing Joint pain and stiffness

All medications not only come with a therapeutic effect but with a wide range of adverse effects as well. Certain medications are taken to balance cholesterol levels or treat the infection, which can have effects like nausea, vomiting, body pain, and stiffness. 

Medications specifically related to joint pain and stiffness are 

  1. Statins, including Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin, Simvastatin, Pravastatin, and Rosuvastatin
  2. Antibiotics (Fluoroquinolones like levofloxacin). 

It’s beneficial to consult healthcare providers about the pain in the body after you have started taking these medications. Discussing medication history can also play a major role in avoiding any medication for which you have developed an allergy or any symptom like joint pain or stiffness in the body.

5. Physical activity / Exercise

Excessive physical activity or overuse of muscles or joints can also be the leading cause of pain in the body, along with the stiffness of that specific muscle. This usually happens when you do not do the warm-up and get into the extraneous physical activity. 
It can also be caused by the muscle or joint’s sudden jolt movement.

6. Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes, especially in females, including Menopause, can seriously impact health. After the age of approx 45years, the pre-menopause and  menopause era starts and leads to changes like 

  • Itching in the body 
  • Mood swings 
  • Whole body pain  
  • Headaches 
  • Stiffness of the muscles 
  • Pain in the joints especially in the knees

Getting a consultation with healthcare experts can help you manage the symptoms, joint pain, and stiffness in your body with customized medication and prescriptions.

Are you experiencing pain in your joints with the hormone changes? Get virtual consultation now.

7. Stress / Anxiety

Medical conditions like Stress and anxiety can sometimes not only cause mental disturbance but affect and halt the overall health condition of a person. If not treated or managed can lead to conditions like 

  • Insomnia  (sleeplessness) 
  • Headaches
  • GIT disturbances
  • Stomach pain /cramps 
  • Joint pain or stiffness 

It should be noted that these conditions should be taken seriously and consulted by healthcare providers to avoid any further medical complexities.

What medication is good for joint pain and stiffness all over the body?

Two types of medications are effective for joint pain and stiffness all over the body. 

  1. Over-the-counter medications (NSAIDs)
  2. Prescription medications (NSAIDs) 

OTC medications for Joint pain and stiffness include 

Over-the-counter medications are easily available and are effective against joint pain, body pain, and stiffness. It should be noted that OTC medications should not be exceeded for longer periods of time, e.g., more than a month. If the joint pain persists after that, Getting a medical consultation and prescription for the underlying condition causing pain is beneficial as well as preferred. 

Prescription medications for Joint pain and stiffness are : 

Prescription medications have a higher potency of effectiveness than over-the-counter and can be prescribed to you after the customized consultation as per your condition. 

When to see a doctor

Joint pain and stiffness are not really medical conditions that need immediate treatment. It can be treated by taking Over-the-counter NSAIDs. It’s beneficial to get the consultation of a healthcare provider if the joint pain or stiffness is not going from the OTC drugs. 

What vitamin deficiency causes stiff joints?

Vitamin-D deficiency can cause stiff joints. Vitamin-D deficiency can lead to a lack of absorption of calcium, causing weaker and porous bones. Weak bones can manifest pain and, eventually, stiffness.

What is the best vitamin for stiff joints?

Multivitamin supplements are best for stiff joints and pain and are often prescribed as part of a healthy diet. Combining multivitamins with glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids can increase the effectiveness and give relief to stiff and painful joints.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  1. Gooberman‐Hill, Rachael, et al. “Assessing chronic joint pain: lessons from a focus group study.” Arthritis Care & Research 57.4 (2007): 666-671.
  2. Mazzuca, Steven A., et al. “Pilot study of the effects of a heat‐retaining knee sleeve on joint pain, stiffness, and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis.” Arthritis Care & Research: Official Journal of the American College of Rheumatology 51.5 (2004): 716-721.
  3. Fenlon, Deborah, et al. “A survey of joint and muscle aches, pain, and stiffness comparing women with and without breast cancer.” Journal of pain and symptom management 46.4 (2013): 523-535.

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