Can hypothyroidism cause joint pain? I have hypothyroidism and have been experiencing severe arthritis-like pain in my shoulders and hips.

Answer From Ann Kearns, M.D., Ph.D.

For some people, hypothyroidism can add to joint and muscle problems.

Specifically, hypothyroidism may lead to:

  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in the shoulders and hips
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Swelling of the small joints in the hands and feet
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Reducing pain

Common over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can help lessen pain. However, adequate thyroid hormone replacement is the main treatment and often helps reduce pain.

When to see your doctor

Keep in mind that people with the most common form of hypothyroidism have a higher risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. If pain, stiffness and swelling don't improve after adequate thyroid treatment, check with your doctor. He or she may consider other possible causes of your joint pain.

With

Ann Kearns, M.D., Ph.D.

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

March 11, 2021 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Antidepressant withdrawal: Is there such a thing?
  2. Antidepressants and alcohol: What's the concern?
  3. Antidepressants and weight gain: What causes it?
  4. Antidepressants: Can they stop working?
  5. Antidepressants: Side effects
  6. Antidepressants: Selecting one that's right for you
  7. Antidepressants: Which cause the fewest sexual side effects?
  8. Arcus senilis: A sign of high cholesterol?
  9. Atypical antidepressants
  10. Chapped lips: What's the best remedy?
  11. Cholesterol concerns? Get moving
  12. Cholesterol concerns? Lose excess pounds
  13. Cholesterol level: Can it be too low?
  14. Cholesterol medications: Consider the options
  15. Cholesterol ratio or non-HDL cholesterol: Which is most important?
  16. Cholesterol test kits: Are they accurate?
  17. Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers
  18. Cholesterol-lowering supplements may be helpful
  19. Clinical depression: What does that mean?
  20. Coconut oil: Can it cure hypothyroidism?
  21. Coma
  22. Depression and anxiety: Can I have both?
  23. Depression, anxiety and exercise
  24. Depression: Diagnosis is key
  25. Depression in women: Understanding the gender gap
  26. Depression (major depressive disorder)
  27. Depression: Provide support, encouragement
  28. Depression: Supporting a family member or friend
  29. Dry skin
  30. Eggs and cholesterol
  31. Eggs: Bad for cholesterol?
  32. Fatigue
  33. Five foods to lower your cholesterol
  34. HDL cholesterol: How to boost your 'good' cholesterol
  35. High cholesterol
  36. High cholesterol in children
  37. High cholesterol treatment: Does cinnamon lower cholesterol?
  38. How to heal cracked heels
  39. How to heal cracked skin at thumb tip
  40. Hypothyroidism and infertility: Any connection?
  41. Hypothyroidism: Can calcium supplements interfere with treatment?
  42. Hypothyroidism diet
  43. Hypothyroidism: Should I take iodine supplements?
  44. Hypothyroidism symptoms: Can hypothyroidism cause eye problems?
  45. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  46. Infant jaundice
  47. Is your diet hurting your heart?
  48. Joint pain
  49. Joint pain: Rheumatoid arthritis or parvovirus?
  50. Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  51. Lowering Triglycerides
  52. Macrocytosis: What causes it?
  53. Male depression: Understanding the issues
  54. MAOIs and diet: Is it necessary to restrict tyramine?
  55. Marijuana and depression
  56. Mayo Clinic Minute: Moisturizer tips from a dermatologist
  57. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  58. Muscle pain
  59. Natural remedies for depression: Are they effective?
  60. Nervous breakdown: What does it mean?
  61. Niacin to boost your HDL, 'good,' cholesterol
  62. Niacin overdose: What are the symptoms?
  63. Pain and depression: Is there a link?
  64. Pomegranate juice: Can it lower cholesterol?
  65. Is there a risk of rhabdomyolysis from statins?
  66. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  67. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  68. Skip flavored lip balm
  69. Soy: Does it reduce cholesterol?
  70. Soy: Does it worsen hypothyroidism?
  71. Statin side effects
  72. Statins
  73. Statins: Do they cause ALS?
  74. Statins: Should you be on one?
  75. Symptom Checker
  76. Thyroid disease: Can it affect a person's mood?
  77. Time your lotions right
  78. Lifestyle changes to improve cholesterol
  79. Trans fat: A double whammy
  80. Trans fat
  81. Trans fat substitutes: Not a slam dunk
  82. Treatment-resistant depression
  83. Tricyclic antidepressants and tetracyclic antidepressants
  84. Triglycerides: Why do they matter?
  85. Vitamin B-12 and depression
  86. VLDL cholesterol: Is it harmful?
  87. Ward off dry skin
  88. Wilson's syndrome: An accepted medical diagnosis?