Arthritis means different things to different people. It’s not a single disease but rather a medical term that describes various conditions and symptoms that affect your joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. But regardless of the diagnosis, arthritis is a painful, degenerative condition that can affect anyone at any age.
The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, pseudogout, gouty arthritis, and septic arthritis. But we also have arthritis due to lupus, psoriatic arthritis, and many others.
They all affect the joints of the body, making it difficult to perform some of the daily tasks we normally do without difficulty. The signs and symptoms of arthritis include joint stiffness, tenderness and swelling, and pain during movement or rest. In most cases, it is a progressive disease that will only slow down its course when you get appropriate treatment. That’s why learning about arthritis and how to detect this ailment is so important.
In this article, we will talk about the main signs and symptoms of arthritis. In doing so, we will provide a guide to detect a few signs of the disease. However, remember that everyone experiences arthritis differently, and sometimes you may become confused when trying to figure out signs and symptoms yourself. That’s why a doctor’s opinion is so important in the process, and nothing should replace medical advice to diagnose arthritis or any other disease.
Signs and symptoms of arthritis
The symptoms of arthritis depend on the type of arthritis you have, the stage of the disease, and whether you’re experiencing a flare-up. Osteoarthritis can cause joint pain, which is usually worse when you move. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause stiffness after a prolonged period of rest, and it’s also more likely to affect the hands, wrists, fingers, and feet. Gout is mainly located in the toes but can also happen in other joints.
So, let’s go through the main symptoms of this disease and how they apply to different patients.
1) Joint pain
Arthritis is one of the most painful conditions you can experience, but pain might not be severe in the first stages of the disease. Still, it is the most common symptom in arthritis because this disease basically features a problem with the joints. The affected joints are not always the same, and pain can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. These features help doctors determine what type of arthritis they are up against. The symptom is triggered after you lose the cartilage and other structures in your joints, which are responsible for protecting the bone ends and allowing them to move smoothly. When your joints lose their cartilage, they begin to wear down, and even if they don’t, inflammation all around the joint is enough to activate nerve terminals and cause pain.