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Family Physician

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What does persistent pain in the muscles and joints throughout the body indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16108 Questions

Posted on Wed, 31 Oct 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: Hi. I have been experiencing widespread pain in most of my joints and possibly even the muscles. Even at night. There is burning across my shoulders and pain in my hips and back along with the muscles in those areas. I am stiff and sitting with my hips below my knees makes it difficult to stand and walk. Going up the stairs is difficult because of the pain in the hips and back. My knees also experience burning. It is gradually getting more difficult. The pain is almost constant even after taking Aleve. I am 52. I have not been seen for my symptoms but think I need to see a rheumatologist.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 57 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Different possible causes, need to be seen

Detailed Answer:


You must be in a lot of discomfort and I'm sorry about that, I agree that you should see a rheumatologist.

The burning sensations are in keeping with the abnormal function of the nerves and this is called neuropathy. Neuropathy can be permanent or temporary and there are different causes.

Rheumatological conditions such as lupus or RA or sjogren's can all affect both the joints/muscles and also be associated with neuropathy as well.

Blood tests and imaging are needed eg complete blood count, ESR (this checks for inflammation in the body). There are also blood tests specifically for some rheumatological diseases as well as specific criteria that need to be met.

X rays, especially of the back and hips, may also be suggested.

There are medications that can reduce the burning/neuropathy eg amitriptyline, tegretol, lyrica, gabapentin-- these are some of the meds used for neuropathy though they also have other uses as well.

Your doctor may suggest one of these.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 8 minutes later
Would it be recommended to start with my PCP or go directly to a Rheumatologist for time savings. My insurance allows me to see any specialists without a referral.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Best to see a rheumatologist

Detailed Answer:


It would be best to see a rheumatologist if possible.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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