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5 Common Causes of Chronic Joint Pain

May 23, 2023
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When your joints hurt, you want to know why. Find out more about the common causes of chronic joint pain. Knowing what’s causing your discomfort can help you get the right treatment.

Joints form the connections between your bones. Though some joints have little to no movement, most joints give you the ability to stand, walk, lift, raise your hand, and write. Every move your body makes involves joints. 

Unfortunately, the function and structure of your joints also means they’re at greater risk of injuries and conditions that cause pain. The more flexible the joint, the greater the risk of damage and resulting pain. 

At Legacy Health and Wellness Clinic, our skilled preventive care physician, Dr. Ifeoma Ogbonna, provides many treatments for joint pain, including joint injections, a weight management program, and medical marijuana for those who qualify.

When you have joint pain, you want to know why. Here, we’re going to tell you about some of the common causes of chronic joint pain.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition and one of the most common causes of joint pain. Osteoarthritis may affect any joint in the body, but most often causes pain in the weight-bearing and mobile joints like your knees, hips, and shoulders. You can also have osteoarthritis in your fingers and thumbs.

This type of joint pain occurs from the gradual wearing away of the cartilage that separates the bones in a joint. Without the cartilage, the bones rub together, causing inflammation and stiffness. 

Other types of arthritis

Arthritis is a general medical term for describing joint inflammation. Osteoarthritis is one type of arthritis, but there are more than 100 conditions that cause joint inflammation and pain. 

You can have chronic joint pain from another form of arthritis, such as:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the joint lining. Without treatment, RA may cause permanent joint damage and deformity. This type of joint pain usually affects the smaller joints first, like the fingers and wrists, on both sides of the body.


Gout is the most painful type of arthritis and causes severe joint pain, swelling, and inflammation that comes and goes, most often affecting the joint in the big toe. Gout occurs because of a buildup of uric acid in the blood. 

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of joint pain linked to psoriasis, a chronic skin condition. Though you can have psoriatic arthritis without having psoriasis. 

Ankylosing spondylitis (a cause of back pain) and post-traumatic arthritis are other types of arthritis that cause pain.


Tendons are the connective tissue that attaches muscle to bone. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon that may occur from overuse. If you have pain in your shoulder, elbow, or heel, you may have tendinitis. 

Autoimmune disorders

RA is one type of autoimmune disorder known to cause joint pain. But joint pain is a common symptom of many autoimmune disorders including lupus, Sgoren’s syndrome, and Grave’s disease (hypothyroidism).

Other immune-related inflammatory conditions that seem completely unrelated to the joints may also cause joint pain, like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease. 


Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, which are the fluid-filled sacs that act as a cushion between the soft tissue in a joint. Like tendinitis, bursitis is an overuse injury. It usually affects the hips, knees, or elbows.

We can determine the cause of your chronic joint pain and provide treatments that help you get immediate and long-term relief. Call our office in Cedar Hill or Austin, Texas, or book an appointment online today. We can even meet through telehealth.