Icon: Lupus Joint Pain

Joint Pain

Chronic pain is one of the symptoms most often reported by people living with lupus. When that pain’s felt in the joints, such as the knees and wrists, it can stop you in your tracks.

I had given up on figuring out how to deal with the pain in my wrists. Now I’m so thankful I can use the power of my mind to help.

Lupus can cause inflammation in your joints, making them painful, stiff, swollen, tender, and warm. Often you may wake up stiff, and that stiffness will gradually ease up as the day passes. But you may also find pain throughout the day in many joints (usually fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and toes) on both sides of your body.


When you’re having joint pain, remember to discuss it with your doctor. Any new symptom or flare of an old one may mean your lupus is active. Lupus disease activity can cause long-term damage to your organs if left untreated.


Most people living with lupus say they have joint pain.

To better cope with joint pain, first talk to your doctor. They may recommend that you pace yourself. Activity-rest cycling is a way of balancing being active enough without overdoing it and getting enough, but not too much, rest. Plan your daily activities to include both stretches of moderate activity and moments of rest. 


You can also use the power of your mind when facing chronic joint pain. Try distracting yourself by counting backward, picturing your favorite place in your mind, or repeating a calming phrase or sentence to yourself.

Icon: Set Time Aside

Persistent pain can often keep you from some of your favorite activities. Identify—and even write down—a few things that mean the most to you, whether that’s a trip to the mall, walking your dog, or spending time with family. Then, plan and set time aside for your favorite activity each week. Having it on your schedule can help you actually make time for it. And having your mind focused on it ahead of time may make a difference in feeling up for it when the day arrives.

Image: Lupus Symptom Tracker

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Learn more about these symptoms.

Icon: Lupus Fatigue


Icon: Lupus Joint Pain

Joint Pain

Icon: Lupus Skin Rashes

Skin Rashes

Icon: Lupus Hair Loss

Hair Loss

Icon: Lupus Mouth Sores

Mouth Sores

Icon: Lupus Brain Fog

Brain Fog

Icon: Kidney Issues

Kidney Issues

Icon: Lupus Depression and Anxiety

& Anxiety

Icon: Lupus Muscle Pain and Weakness

Muscle Pain
& Weakness

Icon: Lupus Heart Issues

Heart Issues

Icon: Lupus Weight Changes