All about Unilateral Joint Pain


Joint pains can be troublesome and may extremely affect one’s quality of life. But have you ever had aching joints all on your left side or just on your right side? That could probably be a unilateral joint pain.

It is a tenderness and soreness on one side of the body. An example is pain on the right knee, wrist or ankle. A joint pain can be caused by several things like injury, wear and tear due to aging, overuse of a particular joint or other health problems.

Some medical conditions that can cause unilateral joint pain are gout, osteoarthritis, tendinitis and bursitis. To determine the cause of your unilateral joint pain, it is best to consult your health care provider. This way, you will find the appropriate treatment that for your health problem.


All about Unilateral Joint Pain

Apart from the ones previously stated, rheumatoid arthritis is among the most common health problems that can cause unilateral joint pain. It is basically an autoimmune disorder that causes a painful sensation and stiffness of joints.

Osteoarthritis (OA or degenerative arthritis) on the other hand is a joint disease that wears down cartilage in joints over time thereby causing pain and stiffness. In most cases, unilateral joint pain is caused by a combination of two or more causes.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Most cases only result to joint pain as the symptom but in other cases swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion is also experienced. Pain is typically aggravated by movement or pressure to affected joints.

Diagnosis is usually made by pointing out the symptoms along with physical examination focusing on the affected areas. An x ray or MRI can also show the damage on affected joints. For rheumatoid arthritis related joint pain, a blood test can be conducted for diagnosis.


There are a variety of treatments for unilateral joint pain depending on its cause. This is why consulting a doctor is very important. Otherwise, you might end up with an unsuitable treatment that will not get rid of your problem. The truth is it’s a common mistake for people to skip the consultation part and just start popping pills they can get their hands on.

Among the most common treatments for joint pain is physical therapy wherein a mild exercise is performed daily to improve range of motion and strengthen joint supporting muscles. Corticosteroid treatment is one of the most effective treatments that will reduce inflammation on the affected joint and get rid of the pain.

If the joint pain is due to injury, surgery is an option but in mild cases rest is the only treatment necessary. If the pain is unbearable, your doctor may prescribe drugs like anti-inflammatory medication. Another treatment option is over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc. Again, the best treatment depends on the cause of the joint pain so consulting your doctor is imperative before any treatment is started.