Arthritis usually appears in people who are over 40, but it sometimes also affects children. Arthritis has over 100 forms, among which osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis emerge as the most common. Tens of millions of Americans suffer from one form of arthritis or another. The symptoms develop gradually over the years and include pain in the joints, inflammation, stiffness and difficulty in moving. Arthritis sometimes proves difficult to diagnose because it depends a lot on the feedback from the patient.
1. One of the major first signs of arthritis remains pain in the joints, especially after exercising or standing for several hours. Pay attention to your joints over several weeks to see if pain appears frequently and if you feel it after certain activities.
2. Arthritis patients experience the most stiffness and pain in the mornings. Notice if your joints feel stiff immediately after you wake up and if the stiffness and discomfort goes away after you move around for a while. This usually clear indicates arthritis has started damaging your joints.
3. Bend your joints over their normal limits. If you experience pain or your joints creak, this might offer a sign of arthritis.
4. Check for swollen joints. Examine the skin over your joints. If the skin appears shiny and reddish, you see a sign of inflammation. Joints also might get inflamed from other infections in your body, however, so it is not a clear sign of arthritis. But if you don’t have any infection and the inflammation comes with other symptoms, you should probably go to a doctor for a diagnosis.
5. If one joint has a different temperature from another, this can indicate joint inflammation. Place one hand on your left knee and the other hand on your right knee to see if you notice any temperature difference. Inflamed joints can indicate rheumatoid arthritis or joint infection. If your joints feel rather cold and stiff, you might suffer from osteoarthritis.
6. Arthritis symptoms also include fever because of the joint inflammation. Though you might mistake it for a common flu, if the fever comes with pain in the joints, you should consult your doctor.
7. Listen to your joints. Patients who suffer from osteoarthritis experience a grating sound in their joints as the cartilage and bones rub against each other.
8. Rheumatoid arthritis patients usually feel symmetrical pain. This means if your left wrist hurts, your right wrist will likely hurt as well.
9. If you suspect you might suffer from a form of arthritis, go to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. The sooner you discover you disease, the sooner you can get treatment and avoid further damage to your joints. You can get medication for the treatments or try any of the several natural remedies available for arthritis sufferers.
Filed Under: Health & Personal Care
About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.