Experiencing joint pain with rash can either indicate two different medical issues or one that presents with both of these symptoms. These two symptoms are very common which can result in the patient getting a delayed diagnosis. However, there are several different medical conditions and diseases known for causing both of these symptoms which many doctors will piece together allowing the patient to have an accurate diagnosis.
It is estimated that about 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from a form of lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. The exact cause has yet to be determined, but it is thought that genetics, certain medications, certain other diseases and conditions, exposure to certain chemicals, and hormonal factors are thought to play a role in triggering this disease. Fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and skin issues like the characteristic butterfly rash are common signs and symptoms of this disease. Nervous system issues, heart problems, light sensitivity, weight changes, and anemia may also occur. Diagnosis is done using a set of criteria that analyzes the patient’s symptoms, blood and urine testing results, and performing tests to evaluate potential organ damage. Treatment is focused on controlling the patient’s symptoms and trying to prevent possible complications, such as organ failure.
Every year, roughly 100,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the United States. This tick-borne illness is an inflammatory disease is characterized by chills, headache, muscle pain, fever and lethargy. Patients may also experience full-body twitching, stiff neck, strange behavior and joint inflammation. A blood test known as ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbest assay, is performed to look for the Lyme disease antibody. Antibiotics are most often used to treat Lyme disease.
Ankylosing spondylitis is both a type of arthritis and an inflammatory condition. The joints between the spinal vertebrae and those located between the spine and pelvis are most often affected. How this disease develops is unknown, but genetics is thought to play a role. In addition to pain and stiffness, patients may also experience limited range of motion, slight fever, weight loss and appetite loss, and eye inflammation. Testing for this condition may include pelvic and spinal x-rays, and and ESR, CBC and HLA-B27 antigen blood tests. Corticosteroid oral medications or injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most common treatment. Surgery for severe joint damage, TNF-inhibitor medications, physical therapy, and cytotoxic drugs may also be beneficial.
Other Possible Causes
Other diseases and conditions may also present with joint pain and rash. These may include:
- Human parvovirus B19 infection
- Rhematoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatic fever
- Chron’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Polyarteritis nodosa
- Reactive arthritis
- Gonococcal arthritis
Lupus Foundation of America. (2010). Statistics on Lupus. Retrieved on October 14, 2010 from the Lupus Foundation of America: https://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_newsroomreporters.aspx?articleid=247&zoneid=60
WebMD. (2008). Lupus Guide: Symptoms. Retrieved on October 14, 2010 from WebMD: https://lupus.webmd.com/guide/lupus-systemic-lupus-erythematosus-symptoms
WrongDiagnosis. (2010). Joint Pain: Introduction. Retrieved on October 14, 2010 from WrongDiagnosis: https://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/sym/joint_pain.htm