Symptoms of Arthritis

What are the symptoms of Arthritis? Well first of all there are two main types of Arthritis that most of us are familiar with, these are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Symptoms include swelling, stiffness and pain in the wrists, hands, feet, elbows, ankles, knees, or neck. It can also affect the lungs, eyes, nerves, heart, and blood vessels. In addition, abnormalities of the immune system could be the cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis – Osteoarthritis

Also known as painful joint symptoms; the cartilage that protects the various joints breaks down over time. Human bones are then no longer separated by cartilage, rubbing against each other, resulting in inflammation. Osteoarthritis is the failure of human cartilage to be able to regenerate. Typically, human cartilage is constantly replacing itself.

The symptoms of osteoarthritis are generally experiencing pain when performing load bearing activities, like walking and lifting. Stiffness occurs in the morning but generally lasts for less than 30 minutes. There can also be difficulty in moving the affected joint(s) or by doing certain activities. It has been known however that no symptoms may present themselves at all as pain can come in episodes. These symptoms of Arthritis may evolve slowly and at times may be present in only one joint, or it could be a few joints at any one time.

Other symptoms of Arthritis in the condition of Osteoarthritis can be joint tenderness, joints appearing larger than usual, a grating or cracking sensation, a limited movement range and muscle weakness.

Symptoms of Arthritis, man clenching knuckles
Rheumatoid Arthritis in Hands

Symptoms of Arthritis – Rheumatoid

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms generally develop gradually. The first signs of  Rheumatoid arthritis are often felt in the smaller  joints, fingers, toes etc, however the shoulders and knees can also be affected and a stiffness in the muscle can be noted as an early sign.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms differ greatly from person to person, generally the symptoms come and go and may change over a period of time. Symptoms of Arthritis include flare ups and the condition will worsen as the symptoms become more intense. Flare ups can happen day or night however it is more likely that it will be more painful upon wakening in the morning. Usually these symptoms of Arthritis will ease as the day goes on as you become more mobile and you start stretching your joints.

The affected joint invariably becomes inflamed which in turn causes the joint to swell, it can also become hot and tender to touch. Rheumatoid arthritis in some cases can cause inflammation around the joint, it can also cause inflammation of the tear and salivary gland, the lining of the heart and lungs, as well as the blood vessels.

Symptoms of Arthritis in the knees

If you suspect Osteoarthritis in knee, it is more likely that both knees will be affected, unless of course the Arthritis has come about by an injury or accident to one knee. Walking can be problematic especially tackling an incline or stairs. Buckle knee may occur where your knees give way and it can be difficult to straighten your legs.

Symptoms of Arthritis in the hips

If you suspect Osteoarthritis in the hips it will usually be accompanied by a pain in the groin or on the outside of the hip. The pain is actually very hard to locate to the correct area as the brain can identify pain in the knee as the source and not the hip. This is due to the nerves and “wiring” which transmits pain signals to the brain. I personally know this for a fact as I had pain in the knee and it turned out that I needed a hip replacement, weird! Anyhow the pain is generally at its worst when walking. If you experience bad pain at night and it affects your sleep ask your Doctor to refer you to an Orthopedic surgeon, just in case you do need a joint replacement.

Symptoms of Arthritis in the hands

Osteoarthritis symptoms in the hands can affect the three main areas, the base pad of your thumb, the fingertip joints and the middle finger joints. Fingers can become stiff and painful as well as swollen and can be visible as knobbly bumps on the finger joints. Over a period of time pain in the fingers may decrease and could eventually disappear altogether, bumps and swelling could still remain though. Fingers can also bend sideways as the affected joint develops spurs or you could develop cysts on the back of your fingers.

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