Arthritis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the joints. It can affect one joint, or it can affect multiple joints in the body. Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis are inflammation, stiffness and joint pain. These symptoms can become worse as a person gets older, and the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis causes the slippery, hard tissue that covers the end bones of a joint, known as cartilage, to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease that targets the synovium (lining of joints) first.
Diseases like lupus or psoriasis, uric acid crystal formations and infections can cause several other types of arthritis as well.
The treatments available for arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis that is diagnosed. However, the goals of any treatments are to improve a person’s quality of life and reduce the symptoms associated with arthritis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis?
The symptoms of arthritis can be confusing and vague, but it is very important to understand and recognize symptoms so you can discuss them with your doctor. For example, it is common for those who have arthritis to misinterpret the signs of arthritis with an injury. As a result, they may try to self-treat their symptoms and purchase medications that are not effective.
The ultimate goal is to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment so you will feel better.
The joints is where most arthritis suffers experience the majority of their symptoms. Although many of the symptoms are common with most types of arthritis, it is important to know the differences that can distinguish one type of arthritis from another.
This means, depending on the type of arthritis you have, you may experience:
Reduction in range of motion
Lumps and bumps (nodules)
Common Symptoms Associated With The Major Arthritis Types
So, why do you need to know about the different types of arthritis? Even though it is up to the doctor to make a proper diagnosis, you should work with your doctor. This means that you should understand the characteristics common to certain types of arthritis so you can report these observations to your doctor.
In other words, once you know the symptoms you are experiencing could be related to a certain type of arthritis, you will be able to provide your doctor with the information he or she needs to know.
As previously mentioned, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints, but can also cause systemic effects throughout the body. Other symptoms include:
Morning stiffness that lasts longer than one hour
Osteoarthritis affects the joints, and it typically does not cause systemic effects. However, one of the most common symptoms is a pain in an affected joint after repeated movement and the pain can become worse during the day.
Joints that are affected can feel warm and can also swell. Bone spurs are also characteristic of osteoarthritis.
Although not generally considered a type of arthritis, gout is an intensely painful type of arthritis. It is characterized by a very quick onset of pain, warmth, tenderness, swelling and redness. Inflammation can also affect the joint.
The major difference between gout and other types of arthritis is that gout generally affects only one joint. The big toe is the most commonly affected joint, but any joint in the body can be affected. Keep in mind that it is typical for the first gout attack to occur during the night.
Awareness of the early symptoms of arthritis is beneficial. Individual symptoms can make an accurate diagnosis challenging. However, by working with your doctor, you will be able to recognize and treat your arthritis symptoms effectively.