Most commonly, joint pain is site-specific, originating and concentrating in one particular area of the body, like the knees. However, joint pain all over the body is experienced body-wide for no apparent reason, such as physical exertion. Continue reading to learn more about joint pain all over and exactly what's causing it to get back to living a pain-free life today.
Why Do My Joints Hurt?
Discomfort, pain, or inflammation experienced in any part of the joint - bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, or muscles - can be caused by a variety of reasons. However, for women who are in good health and nearing the end of their reproductive years, the most common is due to hormones.
The menopausal transition is a time in which natural, drastic fluctuations of estrogen occur as a woman is ending her reproductive years. Unexplained joint ache all over with no external trigger is believed to be caused by this.
The exact role estrogen plays in joint inflammation, discomfort, and pain is yet to be completely understood. However, research studies have found that using estrogen in hormone therapy for postmenopausal women decreases the frequency of joint pain, suggesting a correlation between the two.
Joint pain all over the body can also be caused by a variety of health conditions, such as inflammatory disorders, like gout, tendinitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and bursitis; fibromyalgia; lupus; osteoporosis; and many more. Keep in mind that conditions such as sprains, strains, and dislocations will cause site-specific joint pain, not whole body aches.
When Should I Be Concerned?
In general, any type of joint pain is rarely an emergency that should be brought to the immediate attention of a certified healthcare professional. Even joint pain all over the body is normally not a debilitating symptom, just bothersome. Especially when due to hormonal causes, body-wide aches can be managed from home with the following joint pain treatments.
Nevertheless, you should make a visit to see your doctor if your joints are under intense pain with an inability to use them and if you experience sudden redness, swelling, or tenderness. Joint pain caused by an injury that's not attended to could cause joint deformity. These latter mentioned indications generally concern joint aches suffered from underlying health conditions not related to hormonal imbalance.
In conclusion, joint pain all over is indicative of natural fluctuations of estrogen for women who are going through the menopausal transition. This condition can be differentiated from normal joint pain due to the fact that it is not site-specific and is not caused by another underlying health condition or physical exertion. There is generally no need for concern unless experiencing intense pain or sudden swelling, tenderness, etc.
- Chlebowski, R.T. et al. (2013). Estrogen Alone and Joint Symptoms in the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Trial. Menopause, 20(6). doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31828392c4
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Joint pain. Retrieved August 28, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/joint-pain/basics/definition/sym-20050668