Are Allergies Causing Your Joint Pain?

Got joint pain? If you're experiencing deep, painful aches, you may wonder if it could stem from your allergies in some way. This is a reasonable assumption, but experts say that joint pain and allergies are usually not related, although it's possible for them to co-occur. Read on for some suggestions as to what else could be to blame.

Causes of Joint Pain: Allergies or Autoimmune Disorder?

Allergies are an immune system reaction that occurs when your body comes into contact with a trigger that is perceived dangerous and thereby launches an attack against it. While joint pain isn't usually involved, it's common for allergies to cause sneezing, congestion, and coughing as well as itchy eyes, rash, and wheezing.

On the other hand, autoimmune conditions such as arthritis and lupus occur when your immune system launches an attack against itself (rather than against an allergen). This can indeed cause joint pain, along with swelling and fatigue.

Other Possible Causes

Viruses and infectious diseases can also be common causes of joint pain. For instance, influenza, Epstein-Barr syndrome, and Lyme disease are among the possible illnesses that can make your joints ache. Other cases of joint pain can be traced back to a sprain, strain, or other injury. In rare instances, it's also possible for joint pain to be a symptom of serum sickness, which is a response to an insect sting which can cause fever, joint pain, and hives in some cases.

What You Can Do

If you experience mild joint pain and don't have any other worrisome symptoms, you can try relieving the discomfort at home with some of these simple techniques:

  • Soak in a warm bath
  • Invest in a massage
  • Stretch out your muscles
  • Place an ice pack on the painful spot for 20 minutes
  • Use anti-inflammatory or pain relief medications

When to Seek Medical Care

If the joint pain persists for several days, is severe, occurs with redness, warmth, or swelling, or is accompanied by a fever or unexplained weight loss, it's important to see your doctor to get a physical exam and rule out serious causes.


"Diseases 101: Serum Sickness." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. AAAAI. N.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2010.

"Joint Pain." Medline Plus. US National Library of Medicine. 4 May 2010. Web. 25 Nov. 2010.

"Joint Pain Overview." University of Maryland Medical Center. UMMC. 24 April 2008. Web. 25 Nov. 2010.