Arthritis Awareness Month – Early Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
The month of May is Arthritis Awareness Month, a great time to educate yourself and spread awareness on the leading cause of disability in America that affects over 50 million adults and 300,000 children. Arthritis can lead to debilitating pain and stiffness in joints, affecting a person’s overall function and limiting mobility. There are over 100 types of arthritis, with the most common being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. Keep reading to learn more about early signs and symptoms of Arthritis.
One of the most common signs of arthritis is pain in your joints, which can also be referred to as arthralgia. People often complain of a burning sensation or a dull ache that comes first thing in the morning or when it’s rainy or humid. When it comes to arthritis, early detection and prevention is key, so finding out if your pain is a result of overexerting yourself, age or something more serious is very important.
As you experience pain in your joints, you will likely also experience some swelling. This occurs when there is increased synovial fluid within the joint. In a normal joint, this acts as a cushion, but with arthritis, your body may produce too much of the fluid causing the joints to swell. This can cause discomfort, as well as restrict movement and mobility.
Grating Sound or Sensation
If you hear or feel a grating or grinding noise or sensation when a joint moves, this is a very common sign of arthritis. The sound comes from the cartilage in the joints wearing away, leading the bones to no longer smoothly glide against each other.
If you notice redness around joints, without rubbing them, it is likely caused from inflammation brought on by arthritis. Your healthcare provider will run tests to pinpoint the cause of the inflammation and rule out joint infection.
While it is normal to get tired from time to time, if you are persistently experiencing fatigue along with joint pain and other symptoms, it may be a sign of arthritis. Fatigue can be a result of the effects of joint pain, inflammation, swelling and other common arthritis symptoms.
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, may present symptoms that include:
- Pain during or after movement
- Joint stiffness right after waking up or after inactivity
- Joint tenderness
- Loss of flexibility
- Bone spurs
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, your primary care physician can assess you and recommend the right treatment plan to help you manage arthritis. Treatment will depend on the severity, its symptoms and your overall health. Most people can manage arthritis and still do the activities they love.