Arthritis refers to more than 100 types of joint diseases that affect 53 million adults and 300, 000 children in the U.S.
Even though there are a few different types of arthritis, like psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, key symptoms are the same for all of them. They, later on, do present themselves differently, but in the early stages, they all have these 6 symptoms in common.
None of us really realize how important our joints are, that is until something usually goes wrong. Okay, so you’re sensing something weird is going on with your joints and you’re suspecting it might be arthritis?
Since there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, each with different causes and treatment methods, there are the two most common types, osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Let’s take a closer look at what they are, so you can spot them on time and prevent further progression of this inconvenient disease!
Here Are The Symptoms of Arthritis you Need To Be Aware of
- Pain in the joints
This is the most common and the most obvious one and it’s actually the primary reason as to why most people seek professional help. The severity of the pain depends on many different factors, like which joint is affected or how far has the disease progressed, but what’s common for most patients is that pain is worsened by physical activity, and it’s relieved by rest and the amount of pain is appropriate to the amount of the activity.
- Swelling of the joints
Although the swelling can happen due to many other conditions, it’s very likely to be a sign of arthritis as well. The reason for the swelling is actually the fluid that now fills the joint, making it less flexible. This one can be very easily taken care of, by eliminating the fluid from the cavity, but it has to be done by a professional in order to be done right.
- Stiff joints
Although number three on the list, some patients describe this as the worst symptom of arthritis. That is probably because the stiffness is almost always present, and sometimes can be worsened by bad weather. But, as opposed to the pain in the joints, stiffness usually dissipates after physical activity and it’s worsened by long periods of resting.
Another great way to loosen stiff joints is to apply heat on them, or even use anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed.
- Deformity of the joints
Since the cartilage in our joints is being worn down by arthritis, that can result in deformities. This is most common in hand joints, where you can see crooked fingers. Another type of deformation is the formation of circular lumps.
These are also known as mucous cysts or bone spurs and they usually appear on the hands and around the fingers, and they also might be very sensitive to the touch.
Symptoms of Arthritis Video
- Grinding sensations
As already mentioned, one of the biggest consequences of arthritis is actually the cartilage being worn down. We’re all battling this issue since cartilage is also naturally being worn down by our usual, everyday, activities, but of course, the degree of that is not as serious as in arthritis.
The main role of the cartilage is to smooth out the moves in our joints since it’s acting sort of like a buffer for our bones. Once the cartilage is damaged, bones that make a joint are touching each other and making very uncomfortable grinding sensations.
- Red, inflamed joints
Arthritis is actually an inflammation process that affects the joints. If your joints are red and warm, that might be the sign of the inflammation going on. The good news is, this is the easiest symptom to spot since the irritation and redness can sometimes be very obvious, even to the naked eye.
The most important thing for people suffering from arthritis is to keep their range of motions intact. This can be done in many different ways, but the most important thing is to stay physically active and not let potential joint stiffness stop you from living your best life.
Heat packs are always a good idea since heat usually helps both relieve the pain and increase the range of motions, which is exactly why you can always see so many elderly people sunbathing, it’s not just because they want to get tan.
No matter which of these symptoms you’re experiencing, even one is too many, you should seek a professional opinion as soon as possible, so you can potentially catch arthritis in it’s the earliest phase and so you can be taken care of before arthritis starts affecting any major joints in the body.