Does Arthritis Cause Joint Pain?

Imagine waking up one morning, all ready to start your day, but as you try to get out of bed, your knee suddenly hurts a lot. You start to wonder, “Does Arthritis Cause Joint Pain?” Many people ask this because arthritis can make even simple movements feel uncomfortable.

To put it simply, yes, arthritis does cause joint pain. It happens when the joints become inflamed and damaged, which leads to feelings of —

  • discomfort,
  • stiffness,
  • and swelling in the affected areas.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at whether arthritis really causes joint pain, the different types of joint pain it can cause, which types of arthritis lead to which kinds of joint pain, and what can be done to feel better.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a sickness that hurts your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet.

Some joints get worn down as you get older. Many people get arthritis because of this natural wear down. But, there are some kinds of arthritis that happen after injuries that severely hurt a joint. 

Even, certain sicknesses also cause arthritis. Arthritis can hurt any joint, but it’s most common in areas:

  • Hands and wrists.
  • Knees.
  • Hips.
  • Feet and ankles.
  • Shoulders.
  • Lower back (called lumbar spine).

So, what is the main cause of arthritis? Arthritis happens when cartilage wears down (osteoarthritis) or when the body’s immune system attacks joints (rheumatoid arthritis).

So, How Common is Arthritis?

Arthritis is really common. According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, between 2019 and 2021, about 21.2% of adults in the United States, which is around 53.2 million people, said they were diagnosed with arthritis.

Experts think that over one-third of people in America have some level of arthritis in their joints.

So, Does Arthritis Cause Joint Pain?

Does Arthritis Cause Joint Pain?

Yes, it does. Arthritis is a problem that makes your joints swollen and uncomfortable. When your joints are swollen, it can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and sometimes even redness or warmth in the area that hurts.

Now that we know arthritis causes joint pain, let’s see why it makes joints hurt.


In both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation is a big reason for joint pain. Inflammation is what your body does to try to heal itself after an injury or infection. 

But with arthritis, it happens a lot and can hurt your joints. It makes them swell, turn red, and feel warm, which makes them hurt.

Cartilage Damage

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in your joints wears down over time. This makes the bones rub together, which can be painful, especially when you move. 

In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation can damage the cartilage and bones in your joints, which makes them hurt and stiff.

Bone Spurs

Sometimes, in osteoarthritis, your body tries to fix the cartilage loss by growing extra bone. These are called bone spurs, and they can make your joints hurt and make it hard to move them.

Nerve Irritation

Arthritis can bother the nerves around your joints, sending pain signals to your brain. This can make you feel pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in that area.

Not All Joint Pain is the Same

Not All Joint Pain is the Same

There are over 100 types of arthritis, and the joint pain you feel can be different depending on which type you have. 

Let’s look at seven common types of arthritis and the pain they can cause. So, what are the 7 types of arthritis? 


This kind of arthritis usually makes your joints hurt more when you’re active. It’s like a creaky door – the more you move, the louder it gets. You might feel stiffness and pain in your knees, hips, hands, or spine.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

With rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system wrongly attacks your joints, which causes swelling and pain. It can affect many joints at once, often in a balanced way (meaning both sides of your body hurt equally). You might notice swelling, warmth, and tenderness in your joints.

Psoriatic Arthritis

This type of arthritis can make your joints hurt, stiff, and swell. It also comes with red, scaly patches on the skin called psoriasis.


This type brings sudden, intense pain, usually at night. It makes your joint feel like it’s burning or throbbing, often in the big toe.

Septic Arthritis

This arthritis comes from an infection and makes your joints really hurt, swell up, look red, and feel warm.

Reactive Arthritis 

After you get an infection somewhere else in your body, this type of arthritis can make your big joints hurt, swell, and turn red. Sometimes it can also cause problems with your eyes.

Lupus Arthritis

Lupus arthritis is a part of lupus, a disease that can cause joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It also comes with other symptoms.

What are the Risk Factors Behind Having Arthritis?

Anyone can get arthritis, but certain things might make it more likely for you, like:

  • Smoking or using tobacco raises your chances.
  • If people in your family have arthritis, you’re more likely to get it too.
  • If you don’t move around much, you might have a higher risk.
  • Conditions like autoimmune diseases, being overweight, or anything else that affects your joints can make arthritis more likely.

Some people are at higher risk, such as:

  • People over 50 years old.
  • Athletes, especially those who play contact sports
  • People with physically demanding jobs or who do work that strains their joints a lot (like standing for a long time or kneeling often).

Curious about how to make finger joint arthritis pain better? Check out our helpful blog to find out! We explain everything in easy words so you can learn how to ease arthritis pain in your fingers.

How to Manage These Joint Pains Caused by Arthritis

How to Manage These Joint Pains Caused by Arthritis

While arthritis can’t be cured, there are plenty of ways to manage the pain and keep your joints happy! 


Rest when your joints hurt. It can help reduce swelling and pain. Try to rest a bit between activities during the day.

Pain Relievers

Medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help with arthritis pain. But ask your doctor first for the right arthritis treatment, especially if you have other health problems.


Doing gentle activities like walking, swimming, or yoga can keep your joints moving smoothly. It can also help you keep a healthy weight, which is good for your joints. Start slowly and increase your exercise little by little.

Ice and Heat

Using ice packs can help reduce swelling and pain, especially after your joints flare up. On the other hand, heat can help loosen stiffness. You can even use a heating pad, warm cloth, or warm bath.


Ask your doctor about supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. They might help your joints feel better.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight can make arthritis pain worse, especially in your knees and hips. Try to stay at a healthy weight to feel better.

Assistive Devices

Don’t be afraid to use tools like canes or walkers if you need them. They can help you move around safely and take pressure off your joints.

Want to know why chiropractic care matters? Read our blog to find out! We explain everything in simple terms so that you can learn why chiropractic care is important.

Suffering from Constant Joint Pain? Come to Health Plus Wellness Clinics with Dr. Joe Esposito

Our caring doctors can find out why your joints hurt and make a plan just for you to feel better. We have chiropractic care and special health plans to help you feel good again. Picture waking up without stiffness and moving comfortably. Call now to make an appointment and start feeling better!

Want to learn, “Does joint pain always mean arthritis?” Visit our informative blog to get your answer.

Wrapping Up

So, hopefully, you’ve got your answer based on the question, “Does arthritis cause joint pain?” Arthritis can make your joints hurt, but how much it hurts depends on the kind of arthritis you have. If you know how arthritis and joint pain are connected and look into different ways to treat it, you can feel better. If your joints hurt, talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out what to do to feel better.