Joint pain is a very common problem with many possible causes - but it's usually a result of injury or arthritis.


The information and advice on this page should not be used to self-diagnose your condition, but it should give you a better idea of what is causing your pain and what you should do.

It covers:

  • pain in just one joint
  • pain in many joints
  • Pain in just one joint


Of all the joints, the knee joint is probably the most frequently damaged and the most susceptible to pain. But knee pain isn't always a joint problem.

Worsening of osteoarthritis

In older people, joint pain that gets steadily worse is usually a sign ofosteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. It may affect just one joint, or many. O steoarthritis causes pain and stiffness because it damages the protective surface of the bones and cause mild swelling of the tissues in and around the joint. It can sometimes affect younger people, especially those who are overweight or those who have had serious injuries to the joint in the past. You should see your GP if you think this is the cause of your joint pain.

Inflammation of the joint lining

If you've injured the joint recently and it suddenly becomes painful again, the cause could be inflammation of the thin layer of tissue lining the joints and tendons - a condition called traumatic synovitis. It usually does not to cause any redness or heat.

You should be able to manage injury-related swelling at home with anti-inflammatories, an icepack and rest. Pain in many joints Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is another type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in the joints – most commonly the hands, feet and wrists.
The pain may come and go in the early phases, with long periods between attacks. It can leave you feeling generally unwell and tired.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis affects up to one in five people with psoriasis. This type of arthritis is unpredictable, but flare-ups can be usually be managed with treatment. Like other types of arthritis, it means that one or more of your joints are inflamed and become swollen, stiff, painful and difficult to move. underneath the skin, causing hard, thickened areas of skin. The knee joint is particularly vulnerable to damage and pain because it takes the full weight of your body