Joint and Muscle Pain

Joint and muscle pain are two closely related types of pain that are very common. If you have joint or muscle pain and would like to know more about the condition, we have put together this complete guide to help you understand everything there is to know. Here, we’ll be answering common questions we are regularly asked about joint and muscle pain such as ‘what causes joint pain and muscle pain’ along with advice on what is good for joint pain and muscle pain and our best recommendations of the medications that are available to help alleviate them.

An introduction to joint and muscle pain

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about joint and muscle pain with details on each condition specifically. If you have joint and muscle pain, this guide will be of use to you in discussing the possible causes for this pain, the symptoms, and how to alleviate it. This guide, however, should not be used in place of a doctor’s advice. Specifically, this guide will cover:

  • What is joint pain?
  • What is muscle pain?
  • Joint and muscle pain symptoms
  • What causes joint pain?
  • What causes muscle pain?
  • What effects can joint and muscle pain have?
  • How to relieve muscle pain and joint pain
  • Dos and don’ts and joint and muscle pain treatments

What is joint pain?

Joint pain is pain or discomfort that is experienced around your joints. A joint is the area where two or more bones come together and are found across the body. Joint pain may be experienced in one joint or several and is often felt when the body is resting.

What is muscle pain?

Muscle pain is pain that occurs within the muscles. Like joints, muscles can be found across the body meaning that muscle pain can occur in many different places. Muscle pain may be mild or severe and may come or go depending on the time of the day or after certain activities.

Joint and muscle pain symptoms

Joint and muscle pain are felt in a variety of different ways, although there is a similar overlap in how these pains are experienced. You may feel joint or muscle pain in the following ways:

  • Aching
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Soreness
  • Sharp pains

When to see a doctor

Muscle pain and joint pain are often able to be treated at home and subside within a couple of weeks. However, some health conditions may cause joint and muscle pain to remain longer and cause this pain to be more significant.

The NHS advises you to see a doctor if:

  • You have stiff joints for longer than 30 minutes after waking up
  • The pain is affecting your ability to carry out daily activities or sleep normally
  • The pain is getting progressively worse or keeps returning
  • The pain has remained after 2 weeks of home treatment


You should ask for an urgent GP appointment, call 111 or get help from 111 online if:

  • You have joint pain and the skin around it is swollen and feels hot
  • You have joint pain, feel generally unwell and have a high temperature
  • You feel hot and shivery


You should call 999 or go to A&E if you are experiencing any of the following severe symptoms:

  • You have very bad joint pain after a fall or injury
  • You're unable to walk or put weight on a joint
  • Your joint has moved out of place
  • You have any tingling or no feeling in the area around the joint after an injury

What causes joint pain?

There is no one cause for joint pain. Commonly, joint pain is caused as a result of vigorous exercise or an injury. 

There are some health conditions which can lead to joint pain, some of which are:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • A joint infection

This is not an exhaustive list of all the reasons why joint pain could be occurring, however. If you are concerned about your joint pain, you should see your GP for a diagnosis and advice.

What causes muscle pain?

Similarly to joint pain, muscle pain is also commonly caused by injuries and high-intensity exercise. However, it can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as:

  • An infection or illness in the body
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Neuromuscular disorders

This list of possible causes of muscle pain is also not exhaustive, therefore you should likewise see your doctor for further help if your muscle pain is causing you concern.

What effects can joint and muscle pain have?

Joint and muscle pain can affect your daily routine and hold you back from doing the things you love. Muscle or joint pain may make it harder to move, exercise, or reach. It can also affect your sleeping routine and have an impact on your social life and mental well-being when experienced at length.

To help manage joint and muscle pain effectively, we have compiled our best advice on how to relieve muscle pain and what is good for joint pain below.

How to relieve muscle pain and joint pain

Many types of muscle and joint pain can be alleviated with the right self-care techniques and subside within a couple of weeks. Additionally, medication can help to relieve this pain. 

However, there are some instances where joint and muscle pain are experienced for longer than this period due to certain medical conditions. If your muscle and joint pain has not improved over time and with self-care, you should see your GP as they will be able to best advise you on your specific circumstances.

Below are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re experiencing joint and muscle pain:

Dos and don’ts


  • Rest your muscle or joint - If you have injured or put a strain on your muscles or joints, you should ensure that the affected area gets 
  • Keep active - Low-intensity exercise is a good way to keep your muscles and joints strong and reduce pain. Swimming, walking and yoga are all good examples to ease your pain.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight - Being overweight can put additional stress on your joints and muscles, so maintaining a healthy body weight can help to improve your pain.
  • Take warm baths - Taking baths can help to soothe and ease your pain. Some products, such as Epsom salts, can be added to baths for an increased pain-relieving effect.
  • Use an ice pack - Applying an ice pack can help to reduce swelling and inflammation. This can be applied for up to 20 minutes every two to three hours.


  • Don’t exert yourself further - With joint and muscle pain that has been caused by strain or injuries. You should avoid exerting yourself further through over-exercising, heavy lifting or putting any further strain on the affected area. This could worsen your pain.

  • Don’t fully stop moving the joint or muscle - Though you should rest the affected area if it is painful, you should avoid completely stopping moving a painful joint or muscle as this could lead to stiffness and an increase in pain in the future. 

Joint and muscle pain treatments

To help alleviate your joint and muscle pain, there are several types of medications that you can take. These are useful in treating joint and muscle pain in the short term. You should first speak to a doctor or pharmacist if you intend to treat your pain with medication in the long term.

There are several joint pain relief treatments available at Pharmacy Prime to treat your muscle and joint pain in various ways. Below are just a few examples of the treatments we have:

Useful links

Contact us

We hope this guide on joint and muscle pain has helped you to better understand the condition and has provided you with some insightful tips on how to alleviate it. If you would like to know more about the different joint and muscle pain treatments we provide at Pharmacy Prime or have any other enquiries relating to our products, please get in touch with us. A member of our friendly team will soon be in touch with you.