Joint pain


Physical discomfort where two or more bones meet to form a joint. Pain can range from mild to disabling.


Regular exercise helps mobility and flexibility, decreases pain, and doesn't cause damage. Ice packs and pain relievers available without a prescription, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), may help.

When to seek immediate medical care

Seek immediate medical if an injury causes joint pain and:

  • The joint looks out of shape.
  • The joint no longer moves.
  • There is intense pain.
  • There is sudden swelling.

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a health care professional if joint pain is accompanied by:

  • Redness or swelling.
  • Tenderness and warmth around the joint.
  • Fever.