How can you tell the difference between joint and muscle pain?

Location. Simple joint and muscle pain location are restricted to their own structures. And tenderness is as well. Push on a joint and joint pain will hurt. Complex pains are more difficult because a painful joint can cause tightness and pain in the adjacent muscles, and stiff painful muscles can lead to joint pain. In that case, both will be painful and sore, with the primary source usually more painful, .