The term polyarthralgia is a combination of a prefix, poly which means multiple; a root word, algia which means pain; and another root word arthros which means joint. Hence, the term polyarthralgia is used to define pain present in two or more joints in the human body.
It may be small joints such as the metacarpal and metatarsal joints; or big joints such as the knee or elbow joints. Similarly, the term arthritis is a combination of a root word, arthros and a suffix, which means inflammation.
As per the opinion of the orthopedic specialists, there is a diverse range of the etiological, as well as the risk factors leading to polyarthralgia arthritis. Here is a brief introduction about some of the common causes of polyarthralgia arthritis.
Causes of Polyarthralgia Arthritis
Though numerous causes of polyarthralgia arthritis have been described by the orthopedicians, however, one cannot deny that the most common etiology of this health problem seems to be sports injuries. As far as sports injuries are concerned, polyarthalgia arthritis might occur at any age, irrespective of the sex of the individual affected.
The next most common cause of polyarthralgia arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have revealed out that, females aged between 40 and 50 are almost three times more prone to develop rheumatoid arthritis, when compared with males. In fact, rheumatoid arthritis, commonly abbreviated as RA, accounts for approximately 1% of the incident rates throughout the world. Moreover, persons with HLA-DR1 and HLA-DR4 serotypes are found to be more prone to develop this disease, in which mainly the synovial joints are affected. The name of this disease in fact, is derived from the term, “Rheumatic fever”.
The next etiology of polyarthralgia arthritis which comes in this list is osteoarthritis. Studies conducted by the Arthritis Foundation, USA, revealed out that osteoarthritis, which is commonly abbreviated as OA, is found to be more common in menopausal women, i.e. women above 40 years of age when compared with same aged men.Low estrogen levels present in menopausal women is found to be one of the most common contributing factors to cause Polyarthralgia arthritis in elderly women. Some of the other common causes of Polyarthralgia arthritis in elderly women include, repeated trauma to bones which are already weak, over use of bones, fragility of bones, etc.Moreover, presence of certain diseases such as diabetes mellitus and obesity, increases the chance to develop osteoarthritis. Apart from these, certain factors like aging also causes change in the cartilage, as well as in the content of the synovial fluid present in the joints; and thereby lead to polyarthralgia arthritis.
According to researchers, deficiency of vitamin D and calcium in the body also is an importannt cause of this condition. Vitamin D is in fact converted into a hormone, known as calcitriol which in turn facilitates the absorption of calcium from the intestinal tract. And we are well aware about the fact that, calcium is an important nutrient for healthy bones and joints.
The common inflammatory etiological factor found more frequently in men than women is gout. This is a metabolic disorder of purines, which results in excessive accumulation of uric acid in the blood. This uric acid is an end-product resulting from the breakdown of purines. An increased level of uric acid in the blood is known as hyperuricemia. This leads to the deposition of crystals of uric acid around various joints, leading to polyarthralgia arthritis.
Some of the well-known contributing factors of gout are obesity; heavy consumption of alcohol; increased intake of purine foods; regular intake of certain medicines like niacin, aspirin, diuretics; chronic renal failure; rapid loss of body weight; psoriasis; tumors such as melanoma; endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism; blood disorders like hemolytic anemia; lead poisoning, etc.
Viral Infections that Leads to Polyarthalgia Arthritis
Some of the most remarkable viral infections causing polyarthralgia arthritis include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alpha viral infections, HIV infections, the arthropod borne viral infection, known as Chikangunya infection, etc. Some of the common bacterial infections include subacute bacterial endocarditis, commonly referred to as infective endocarditis.This condition is commonly caused by a gram-positive bacteria known as, Streptococcus viridans, which is a normal flora of the human mouth and throat. Similarly, rheumatic fever, which is caused by the gram-positive bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes, is the best example of causing migratory type of polyarthralgia arthritis. Some of the septic arthritis or infective arthritis are usually caused by gram-negative bacteria; and gonococccal infedction accounts almost for about 70-80% of polyarthralgia arthritis.
Reaction of Drugs
Sometimes, polyarthralgia arthritis is induced by the reaction of certain drugs used for therapy. The best example of this is rifabutin-induced polyarthralgia arthritis syndrome. Rifabutin is used for the treatment of tuberculosis. Studies have revealed out that, if rafabutin is administered alone in high doses, that is about as much as one gm each day, then it can result in the development of this syndrome.
If you decrease your dosage of rifabutin and take it in low doses like 300-450 mg each day, but consume along with clarithromycin then too it has been reported that it increases the risk of developing rifabutin-induced polyarthralgia arthritis. This is because clarithromycin increases the concentration of rifabutin in plasma, thereby exposing to the risk of the arthritis.