Having pain in your joints now and then is common but when you wake up one morning and every joint hurts, where your toes may twinge and your knees and arms are constantly hit by sharp jolts, you have grounds to be concerned.
Arthritis however may not be the problem here, a viral, kidney infection or tendonitis could be the cause, in which case anti-inflammatory drugs maybe prescribed for the very short term until the symptoms subside and you recover.
If however some form of arthritis has not been detected, then it's obviously crucial that your doctor advises you to see a rheumatologist.
Also, be sure to keep a diary of the pain you're experiencing so in case blood tests don't reveal the cause as is often the case when trying to detect this disease, you have some detailed notes which will help your doctor pinpoint what illness you have.
Here's an example of how almost every joint in your body may hurt:
From head down:
No pain above neck level, no fever, no headache, no sickness.
Pain across shoulders when you try to raise an arm or turn your head.
When you clench a fist there's a pain in the elbow joint.
Rotating wrists causes pain.
Straightening or bending the joint will cause additional elbow agony.
A strong ache in the lower back when you sit or stand up.
Standing causes discomfort in the knees.
The hip may be tender to touch.
Curling your toes causes pain along with trying to point your feet up in the air.
Rotating the ankle can be excruciating.
When sat down if you try and cross your legs the knee's may crack and also feel hot and inflamed and tender to touch around the knee joint and surrounding muscle.
If you are experiencing something close to or all of these symptoms across your whole body, then you will most definitely get referred to a rheumatologist - a rheumy.
To help speed up the diagnosis, along with keeping tabs on the joint pains you are experiencing and at what particular time, keep a list also of the foods you've been consuming as gluten foods for example can really inflame joints where as fresh fish and certain vegetables can help reduce the swelling and pain.