There are a variety of possible causes of sudden diffuse joint pain. Painful joints can occur from diffuse trauma, although this is generally apparent. The most common cause of diffuse joint pain is an inflammatory condition. The most common inflammatory conditions are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there are a variety of less common causes, such as gout, lupus, and psoriatic arthritis. It is also possible that certain infections can present with joint pain. Some people can also have pain in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments around the joints, and it may be felt as joint pain. Muscle pain can occur with several viral infections. There also can be inflammatory conditions affecting the muscles or tendons. Certain medicines can also cause muscle or tendon pain, such as statins (Lipitor, Zocor, and others) and fluoroquinolones (Cipro, Levaquin, and others). Ultimately, it would require an appropriate evaluation to determine the exact cause, but it is reasonable to try an over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to see if the symptoms resolve. It may require a higher dose, as a higher dose is necessary to achieve the anti-inflammatory effect. The anti-inflammatory dose of ibuprofen is 1600-2400 mg per day, in divided doses. The anti-inflammatory dose of naproxen is 1000-1500 mg per day, in divided doses. If the symptoms resolve with an anti-inflammatory medicine, then no further evaluation is necessary, but if the joint pain persists, then it would be appropriate for you to be seen to pursue further evaluation.