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Polyarthralgia: Joint Pain & Fibromyalgia

  • Published: 2009-04-22 (Revised/Updated 2015-10-27) : Author: Disabled World : Contact: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Information and definition of Polyarthralgia usually used to describe aches and pain affecting five or more joints.

Quote: "Polyarthralgia is more common in women and even more so with increasing age."

Main Document

What is Polyarthralgia

Polyarthralgia is defined as aches in the joints, joint pains, arthralgia of multiple joints, and multiple joint pain. Polyarthritis is the word usually used to describe pain affecting five or more joints, while a patient with 2 to 4 joints involved would be said to have oligoarticular disease.

Polyarthralgia is when someone suffers from pain in more than one joint, and is always associated with arthritic pain. Diagnosis is difficult due to a wide range of signs and symptoms. Doctors need to review patient histories as well as carry out physical examinations in order to give an accurate diagnosis of polyarthralgia.

Polyarthralgia is more common in women and even more so with increasing age.

Polyarthralgia: Signs and Symptoms

The initial symptoms, which usually appear in the third to fifth decade of life, include painless swelling or thickening of the skin of the hands and fingers, pain and stiffness of the joints (polyarthralgia), often mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, and paroxysmal blanching and cyanosis (becoming blue) of the fingers induced by exposure to cold (Raynaud syndrome).

Simple arthralgia

Literally means joint pain, it is a symptom of injury, infection, illnesses (in particular arthritis) or an allergic reaction to medication. Main symptom is pain; no clinical features of inflammation in the joints or morning stiffness; history of inter-current illness or viral infection.

Rheumatoid arthritis

At least four of these signs or symptoms for six weeks:


People with Fibromyalgia experience pain in their tendons and ligaments, along with tender points throughout their body along with fatigue. Even slight pressure on tender points can cause pain. More women than men have Fibromyalgia, which has been known as, 'chronic muscle pain,' psychogenic rheumatism,' 'tension myalgias,' and, 'fibrositis,' in the past.

Seronegative (non-rheumatoid) arthritis

Linked with psoriasis, bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease), bladder symptoms, and anterior uveitis. May occur after infections (streptococcal throat infection, chlamydial urethritis, or bowel infection with yersinia, salmonella, shigella). Mainly asymmetrical, large joint oligoarticular involvement; possible spinal involvement (sacroiliitis)


Pain is usually in large, weight bearing joints, carpometacarpal joint of thumb, or distal interphalangeal joints of the fingers; presence of Heberden's nodes, crepitus; lifestyle factors such as overweight, sedentary occupation, repetitive use of joints, and history of trauma to affected joints may be relevant.


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