Some causes of painful joints and muscles include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and compartment syndrome, according to Mayo Clinic, the American College of Rheumatology, WebMD and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the joints begins to wear down. It is the most common type of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis can involve any joint in the body, but it usually attacks the hands, hips, spine and knees. As of 2015, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but treatment and lifestyle changes can ease the discomfort caused by the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, says the American College of Rheumatology. In rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, the patient's own immune system attacks the joints of the wrists and the fingers, which become inflamed, swollen and painful. Again, treatment and lifestyle can do much to ease the pain of the disease.
Fibromyalgia causes pain in the muscles, insomnia and fatigue. People who suffer from fibromyalgia have trigger points that hurt no matter what pain medication they are given. Their muscles ache, feel like they've been strained or hurt with a stabbing pain.
In compartment syndrome, pressure in the muscles can build to the point where blood flow is cut off, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Compartment syndrome can be acute or chronic.