What Can Cause Sudden and Severe All-Over Joint Pain?

Sickle cell anemia, septic arthritis and osteonecrosis can all cause sudden and severe all-over joint pain, according to Med-Health.net. Osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia can also cause widespread joint pain, reports Mayo Clinic.

Sickle cell anemia, a hereditary condition causing red blood cells to develop abnormally and burst, can cause pain from inflammation and swelling around the joints that may last for several days. Septic arthritis, an infection caused by fungi or bacteria spreading to the joints, often results in severe pain in the shoulders, arms and legs. Osteonecrosis is a condition in which blood flow to joints and bones is reduced, causing joint pain in the upper legs, knees, ankles and shoulders, reports Med-Health.net.

Osteoarthritis, occurring when the protective cartilage of joints degrades over time, is another common form of arthritis which can cause sudden and severe joint pain. Although it can damage any joint, it usually affects the hands, hips, knees and spine. Fibromyalgia can also cause sudden and severe joint pain throughout the body. This condition has no known cure, and affects women more frequently than men, according to Mayo Clinic.

Sudden and severe joint pain is not necessarily a medical emergency and can often be treated with over-the-counter medications. Acetaminophen can be taken if pain is not accompanied by swelling. If swelling is present, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, may be more effective, claims Med-Health.net.