Severe heel pain followed by joint pain followed by swelling in a healthy 25-year-old?

Two weeks ago, I awoke with severe pain in my heels. They were bright red, and I couldn’t walk on them or even touch them – they were sore like a severe bruise. Ice and ibprophen helped marginally, and with some rest the pain went away completely. I also had joint pain in my knees, ankles, wrists,and elbows which has become more severe and persistent since the heel pain has gone away. It moves around, but it is always in most of those joints. It has been severe enough to interrupt my daily activity. I am taking between 12 and 16 ibprophen per day, and now my knees and ankles are swelled (my ankles are bigger than the balls of my feet). My elbows and ankles are sore to the touch like a bruise, as well as stiff and achy. My father is a microbiologist who thinks that I have a virus that has settled in my joints. I just started a new job, so I won’t have health benefits for 120 days. I am concerned, because I am 25 and have been healthy my whole life. Does anyone have any ideas as to what this could be or how to deal with it?

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  1. Jason, 04 July, 2010

    Sounds like a migratory polyarthralgia. Could be viral. Could be rheumatologic (rheumatoid arthritis, gout), Lyme disease, Rheumatic fever, Reiter’s syndrome. Lab tests are necessary to eliminate these possibilities. Ibuprofen should help, just stay within recommended dosage.

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