What is Arthralgia?

22 August 2017

Do you suffer from pain in your joints? If so, you might automatically assume you have a form of arthritis. However, painful joints could point to another condition: arthralgia. The two conditions aren't just similar in name, so it can be confusing knowing which one you have. Arthralgia is caused by vastly different issues, however, so how you treat the condition will vary accordingly. At Wrist Supports, we've created a guide on arthralgia to help you understand the condition so you can best treat it.

What is Arthralgia?

Like arthritis, arthralgia is where you experience stiffness and pain in your joints. The majority of the time, however, the condition does not cause swelling in the affected joints unless it's found in smaller joints like your fingers or toes. Arthralgia usually occurs in joints like your knees, wrists, hands and ankles. 

Causes of Arthralgia

Arthralgia can be difficult to diagnose because of its varied range of causes. Arthralgia is actually a symptom of other conditions, including injuries, infections, illnesses or allergies. Other causes include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Bone cancer
  • Gout
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Joint sprains or strain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Sport injuries causing tissue inflammation around a joint
  • Tendonitis
  • Viral arthritis

What Are the Symptoms of the Condition?

The symptoms of arthralgia are similar to arthritis, but unlike arthritis arthralgia doesn't cause swelling in the joints or joint deformities. Arthralgia is more mild and tends to only cause the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • Redness
  • Inability or reduced ability to move joints

Diagnosing Arthralgia

As arthralgia is caused by a number of different conditions, diagnosis can be difficult. Diagnosis tends to revolve around interviews to narrow down the list of potential causes. You will be asked a number of different questions, some of which might seem irrelevant to the pain you're currently experiencing. However, these questions will help your doctor find out why you're suffering from arthralgia, which will in turn help them treat the condition.

Treatment Options

Once your doctor has found the underlying cause of the condition, this should first be treated as this will often reduce or treat arthralgia too. Treatments will depend on the condition you're suffering from; if you have arthritis and your joints are severely damaged, you might need to undergo joint replacement surgery. On the other hand, if you have an infection your doctor will give you a course of antibiotics to get rid of it.

Although treatment will revolve around treating the underlying condition, you will also be given treatment to help reduce your pain. Treatment can include painkillers; resting the affected joint; using splints, canes or crutches to immobilise the area; or undergoing hot and cold therapy. These treatment options can help prevent further damage to the area and reduce pain. If arthralgia has weakened your joints, your doctor might suggest physical therapy to help you strengthen the joints and improve your mobility.

Arthralgia at Wrist Supports

So where do we fit in? At Wrist Supports, we've got a range of braces for those who suffer from wrist arthralgia. These help stabilise and protect the wrist while you heal without covering your fingers and preventing movement completely. Click the button below to view our range of wrist arthralgia supports. And if you're looking to strengthen your hands and fingers after suffering from the condition, we have a range of exercisers to help you too.


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