5 Early Signs of Arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation, swelling, and tenderness in the joints. The condition can affect one or multiple joints in the body. Moreover, there are at least 100 different types of arthritis.
The two main types—rheumatoid and osteoarthritis—damage joints in different ways. Rheumatoid arthritis results in the body’s immune system attacking the lining of the joint capsule and destroying the cartilage and bone.
On the other hand, osteoarthritis is the result of wear-and-tear damage to your joint’s cartilage, largely due to the bone’s grinding. It leads to severe pain and restricted movement.
It’s important to identify the early signs of arthritis to prevent the deterioration of the joints. While the symptoms vary, there are symptoms that you should look out for. Let’s look at five of them:
Sign#1: Joint pain
Joint pain is one of the most common signs of arthritis. Most patients experience some level of pain when their arthritis flares up. Joint pain is caused due to an injury that affects the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint.
It’s critical to seek immediate medical care if you experience pain and discomfort in your joints for an extended period of time. Early and accurate diagnoses can potentially save you from irreversible damage, and even disability.
Sign#2: Joint stiffness
Joint stiffness and inflammation are especially common in the morning. In fact, doctors evaluate the severity of arthritis by measuring the duration of morning stiffness in your joints.
If you have arthritis, you may also experience joint stiffness after sitting at a desk or when driving a car for a long duration. Joint stiffness may occur with or without joint pain.
You can read about how to manage this stiffness here.
Fatigue is also a hallmark symptom of arthritis—rheumatoid arthritis, more specifically. In fact, fatigue and arthritis go hand in hand. The inflamed joints and the accompanying chronic pain can be extremely difficult to manage.
The fatigue caused due to arthritis results in reduced energy levels and can negatively affect attentiveness, creativity, emotions, relationships, sex drive, and happiness. Moreover, it can lead to a loss of appetite and unhealthy weight loss.
Sign#4: Reduced range of motion
People who have active rheumatoid arthritis suffer from inflamed joints, which limit their range of motion.
The main culprit is the inflammation and swelling, which hinder free movement and also cause pain and discomfort while performing regular activities, such as walking. It’s critical to seek treatment, as joints that are affected by longstanding arthritis can experience permanent loss of mobility.
Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with various types of anemia, including chronic inflammation and iron deficiency anemia. The inflammation from arthritis impacts the body’s ability to absorb iron from food and recycle the iron in the blood, which results in anemia.
Moreover, the chronic inflammation caused by active arthritis can result in decreased levels of red blood cell production in the bone marrow, which leads to anemia. Hence, people who develop anemia are at greater risk of having arthritis.
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***Disclaimer: This blog is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All information, content, and material are for general informational purposes only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.