I'm not sure I can explain the difference between muscle pain and joint pain but I will try.
I think your descript
ion, rkilcher, of muscle pain being like that when you get the flu is pretty accurate. That muscle pain is where the larger muscles in the arms and legs hurt - they even hurt when you remain motionless.
Joint pain to me is a deeper pain centered inside where you would find the joint. Take the knee - there aren't any muscles per se right over the knee, so pain felt deeply there would likely be joint pain. Also, in many cases, but not all, joint pain is much less when the affected joint remains motionless.
HOWEVER, there is another type of pain that muddies the issue. Enthesitis is inflammation of the tendons where they insert into the bone. Tendons are part of the muscular structure of the body. I have bad bouts of enthesitis. So I feel a sort of combo muscle/joint pain. Since I have been dealing with this for sometime now, I can pretty much figure out it it is one of the three types of pain. Movement of a tendon that has enthesitis is very painful. It can still hurt at rest but much less.
also, don't forget the bursa. Bursa are found all over near joints and inflammation of the bursa can mimic joint pain. I have bursitis in several places now and it is a nagging pain - the bursitis in my hip doesn't bother me during the day when I am up but constantly awakens me at night.
The best thing you can do is describe your symptoms to a rheumatologist and let them evaluate you to get to the bottom of your discomfort. Pain-free days and nights to all!
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CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?