6 Early Warning Signs of Arthritis
It is not always easy to distinguish symptoms of arthritis because they can sometimes be confusing, but in order to prevent a disaster it is important to pay attention and recognize them when it’s still early. Once you notice at least one of the symptoms you can tell your doctor and get a proper diagnosis which will be one step towards getting a treatment that will help you.
If you experience any of the following warning signs, don’t disregard them but pay attention and react in a timely manner.
1. Joint stiffness
This is one of the earliest signs of this condition. It is a discomfort which usually happens after an extended period of sitting or lying in bed and results in decreased range of motion of your joints.
Joint stiffness can also be an indicator of which type and stadium of arthritis you have (if you have it).
For example, if it lasts less than half an hour, it isn’t more serious than osteoarthritis. If it remains stiff longer than an hour, you may be dealing with rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus – the inflammatory types of arthritis. If you are experiencing something like this, you should definitely visit your doctor and tell him about it, so you can be diagnosed and properly treated.
2. Joint pain
Not every time you experience joint pain has to mean it is a sign of arthritis. When you visit your doctor they will probably ask you whether the pain slowly and gradually appeared or it came quickly as a shock. Also, you will be asked if the pain gets better or worse when you’re physically active. Based on the information you give to your doctor, you will be recommended some pain relief method (rest, activity, or medication).
If the cause of your joint pain isn’t some recent or past injury, you should just check if arthritis is in question. You don’t need to be scared, because this is just one of the first signs, and if you react on time you will most probably be alright.
3. Joint tenderness
This tenderness usually happens around the joints, and on its own it doesn’t have to mean that you are dealing with arthritis, but if it happens along with other symptoms such as joint pain, effusion, swelling, and redness, you should definitely see your doctor and consider that there is a possibility you might have arthritis.
Fever can also be seen as one of the first signs of arthritis but it can also be seen as a warning sign of several other conditions. Fever happens when the body needs to fight off some infections, or in the case of arthritis – to fight off some of the symptoms. If fever occurs along with other mentioned signs of arthritis, you should see your doctor as soon as possible, because it may be just that.
Fatigue alone doesn’t mean you have any sort of disease at all. But when combined with other symptoms, it is certainly a warning sign of arthritis. In the case of this condition, fatigue can last even up to 8 hours after waking up. This literally means that you spend your whole day drowsy and sleepy, and you can’t normally get through the day.
Excessive fatigue is never a normal thing, and it usually happens due to an imbalance in your body (hormonal or other), so even if it is not connected to the other mentioned symptoms, you should visit your doctor to check what’s happening. But in combination with the other symptoms, it is fairly certain that it is arthritis.
6. Lumps and bumps
Sometimes, one of the early signs of arthritis can be lumps that can appear and develop near your joints. You will probably not touch your joints much to be able to see or feel this immediately once they appear, but if you experience some of the other symptoms, check your joints to see if you have lumps.
If you do, go to the doctor’s office as soon as you can, and they will evaluate it according to its position, location and size to see how serious your condition is and which kind of arthritis you have.
If this one occurs in combination with other symptoms, you can almost be sure you have arthritis, but with proper care and treatment you will be able to recover and live a normal life. What is most important is that you don’t disregard these symptoms, especially when they appear altogether.