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World Arthritis Day 2022: 7 Often Ignored Indicators of Arthritis

Arthritis is a disorder that may occur as a result of cartilage degeneration or joint inflammation throughout the course of one's lifetime. Joint discomfort and swelling are two early warning signals that may be present.

In reality, the term "arthritis" refers to more than one hundred distinct disorders that may impact joints and the tissue in the surrounding area. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

An inflammatory form of arthritis is a systemic condition in which the defence systems that might ordinarily protect the body instead attack the patient's own joints and tissues. The best-known case in point is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which has a propensity to be symmetrical. This means that you are likely to have issues in the same joints on both sides of your body, such as both of your wrists or both of your knees.

Osteoarthritis is the second kind of arthritis, and it is also the most prevalent variety. A degenerative condition, osteoarthritis may be brought on by an injury or the natural wear and tear that comes with advancing age on your joints. OA is more likely to impact weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, lower spine, or big toe; however, it may also cause pain and stiffness in the joints of your thumb and fingers. Weight-bearing joints include the knees, hips, and big toe.

The following are some early indications of arthritis that you should consider taking seriously and discussing with a healthcare professional.

1. Home treatment hasn’t helped.

Minor aches and pains usually get better with ice or heat therapy or over-the-counter pain relievers. But if your symptoms don’t improve after about a week, it may be something more serious.

2. Pain

There are over a hundred distinct illnesses that are grouped together under the umbrella term "arthritis," and each has its own distinctive set of symptoms. Pain, which is also known as arthralgia, is often the first indicator that someone has arthritis. Dull pain or a scorching feeling are two common descriptors for this symptom. The majority of the time, the discomfort will begin after you have overused the joint in some way, such as when you have been gardening or after you have just climbed a flight of stairs.

A number of folks report that they have soreness first thing in the morning. Some people complain of experiencing aches and pains whenever there is a shift in the humidity or when it rains.

3. Swelling.

The swelling of your joints is a common side effect of joint discomfort. And it is a symptom of advanced arthritis. When the joint is pressed on, it might cause pain. Inflammation in the joint causes swelling, which is caused by an increase in the amount of synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is naturally produced and serves both as a shock absorber and a lubricant in a normal joint. When you have arthritis, the inflammation in your joints might cause you to have an excess of synovial fluid. The swelling may cause you discomfort and may limit your range of motion.

4. Joint stiffness, especially in the morning.

Stiffness may occur after prolonged sitting, after activity or when you wake up. Particularly in the morning, it takes a significant amount of time to get the joints functioning.

The condition is symmetrical, which means that if the index finger on your left hand is painful and swollen, you will often also experience the same symptoms in the index finger on your right hand.

Rheumatoid arthritis has the potential to be systemic, which means that it has the potential to impact the body as a whole.

Additional symptoms that are not related to the joints may include the following:

  • a rapid or irregular heartbeat

  • chest ache

  • fever

  • eye irritation or dryness

5. Grating sound or sensation.

The sound of grating or grinding when you move a joint is a symptom that the cartilage in that joint has worn down, which might be a sign of arthritis. Although it most often affects the knee and hip, it may also have an effect on other joints.

6. Pain in a joint that was previously injured.

The risk of developing osteoarthritis is higher in areas of the body that have a history of being injured or harmed. If a football player has a knee injury when playing in high school, then it is probable that they would get knee osteoarthritis later in life.

7. Groin pain.

There are a lot of individuals who are unaware that the pain from arthritis in the hip may radiate to the groin rather than the exterior of the hip. Arthritis of the hip may also produce discomfort in the thigh as well as the buttocks.

Arthritis treatment

The signs and symptoms of arthritis may develop so gradually that you may not even be aware that you have the illness. You could just feel a bit more fatigued or painful than you normally do. As soon as you notice discomfort or swelling in any of your joints, it is imperative that you get medical attention.

Arthritis is a progressive condition, which means that its symptoms get more severe with time. If you begin therapy as soon as possible, it may be feasible to avoid causing your joints any irreversible harm.