5 Telltale Symptoms of Arthritis

When you hear the term “arthritis,” it’s easy to think of bothersome pain. And while pain is a very prominent sign of the condition, arthritis can bring about other symptoms, too. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to keep the symptoms to a minimum, especially if you seek proper care early on.

Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, pairs their extensive experience with advanced diagnostic technology to diagnose and treat all forms of arthritis. Read on to learn about some of the condition’s most common signs.

  1.  Chronic joint pain

Joint pain that lingers on or regularly flares up is the primary symptom of arthritis. While the pain varies in intensity, some 15 million people in the United States report enduring severe arthritis-related pain in their joints. The pain tends to worsen over time, especially without treatment. 

If you have osteoarthritis, the “wear-and-tear” type that stems from repetitive use over the years, joint pain in one or both knees or your hips is especially common. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, which derives from immune system reactions, your pain will be symmetrical. In other words if you experience pain in your right wrist, you’ll feel it in your left wrist as well.

  2.  Joint stiffness

Joint stiffness is also very common when you have arthritis. When it sets in, you may have difficulty moving the joint as usual or at all. You might notice that the stiffness is worse when you first wake up in the morning and lasts for close to an hour or more. Cold weather may exacerbate these symptoms, too.

  3.  Swelling around joints

Swollen joints happen when you have increased fluid in the tissue around the joints. This is especially common with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. Psoriatic arthritis affects about 30% of people with the inflammatory skin condition, psoriasis. Gout develops when you have unusually high levels of uric acid in the body.

  4.  Joint redness

Joint redness is a common result of inflammation, so when you have inflammation within your joints, the shifted hue is likely. You may notice that the redness appears or increases as swelling increases. At the same time, the area surrounding the joint or joints may feel warm to the touch. This, too, stems from inflammation.

  5.  Decreased range of motion

Pretty much all other signs of arthritis can limit your ability to move about normally. If you have arthritis of the knee, for example, you may find that squatting down or jumping no longer come easily. This can seem like a Catch-22, given that carefully moving your joints is one way to improve circulation and reduce arthritis symptoms. 

Getting help for your arthritis

While there’s no known cure for arthritis, it can be managed in ways that significantly improve your quality of life. Our customized treatment plans aim to reduce all bothersome symptoms of arthritis. Yours may include numerous elements, such as:

We can also guide you toward safe and healthy lifestyle changes that can help, from eating a healthier diet and managing stress to losing weight or quitting smoking.

To learn more about arthritis or get the treatment you need, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website.

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