What Are the Causes of Migratory Arthralgia & Tingling?

Updated July 19, 2017

Migratory arthralgia is a migrating pain in the joints that seems at times to move from one joint to another. When this happens together with a tingling sensation, it may be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease or multiple sclerosis. These are all serious conditions that require immediate attention.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Migratory arthralgia and tingling can be symptomatic of rheumatoid arthritis, especially when they occur primarily in the joints and the surface of the hands. Rheumatoid arthritis also causes the joints to swell, feeling warm to the touch. If your symptoms are being caused by rheumatoid arthritis, you will be given anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin and ibuprofen, and antirheumatic drugs, such as rheumatrex and trexall, to treat your symptoms.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia (B) burgdorferi, which is transmitted through deer tick bites. Symptoms other than migratory arthralgia and tingling include fever and growing red spots on the skin. These are the symptoms of the first stage of Lyme disease and can be used to diagnose and treat the disease before it worsens. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause prolonged bouts of arthritis. Antibiotics are used to cure Lyme disease. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that Lyme disease is cured when treated in almost all cases.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the nervous system. The immune system of a person suffering from multiple sclerosis produces cells that attack the fatty substance that protects the nerves, called myelin. Symptoms caused by mutiple sclerosis other than migratory arthralgia and tingling include bladder and bowel dysfunction, blurred or double vision and muscle stiffness. Multiple sclerosis is treated in a number of ways, including interferon injections, which reduce the production of cells aggressive to myelin.

Other Causes

Migratory arthralgia and tingling may not be caused by the same problem. Migratory arthralgia may be caused by a bone condition such as osteopenia, in which the bone mineral density is low. A tingling sensation may be connected to a trapped nerve, which may also cause a dull ache or heaviness in the affected limb.


If you are experiencing migratory arthralgia and tingling you should discuss your symptoms with your doctor as soon as possible. The three conditions described are best treated when caught early, and if the symptoms are unconnected each may indicate a serious condition that requires attention.

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About the Author

Alexander Kennard started writing in 2003. He has written music reviews and articles for "The Reflector" at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada, and has been published on He has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Victoria.