How to Recognize Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, causing pain and inflammation. It is a common condition, and there are many different types of arthritis. 

If you are experiencing joint pain, it’s important to know how to recognize arthritis pain so that you can get the treatment you need. This article will discuss the different symptoms of arthritis pain and how to treat them.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Let’s go through some of the most common symptoms of arthritis:

Pain

The most common symptom of arthritis is also known as arthralgia. It can range from a mild ache to severe pain that limits your ability to move and perform activities of daily living. Arthritis pain is often described as a deep, throbbing, or dull ache. The pain may be worse in the morning or after periods of rest. It can also be aggravated by too much activity or weather changes.

Stiffness

Joint stiffness is another common symptom, especially in the morning. The stiffness may last for several hours and can prevent you from moving your joints through their full range of motion.

Deformity

In some cases, arthritis can cause deformity in joints. This may result in visible changes, such as knobby fingers (called Heberden’s nodes) or a hunched back (called kyphosis). Arthritis can also cause the nails to become brittle and thin.

Fatigue

Arthritis can cause fatigue, which makes it difficult to do everyday activities. 

Inflammation and Swelling

Arthritis can cause inflammation, which can lead to pain and can be felt as swelling, redness, and warmth in affected joints. Swelling may also be a sign of other conditions, such as infection. If you have swelling in your joints, it’s important to see a doctor so that the cause can be determined.

Types of Arthritis and Their Symptoms

If your symptoms become an issue, your specific situation can be assessed to identify what type of arthritis you have. Below are some of the most common forms of arthritis and their early symptoms:

Early Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the larger joints. The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the joint, which may be accompanied by stiffness, swelling, and loss of range of motion. In the early stages of osteoarthritis, these symptoms may come and go and may not be very intense. As the disease progresses, however, it can become more constant and more severe. 

Other symptoms of osteoarthritis include warmth and redness in the affected joint, numbness or tingling in the hand or feet, and a feeling of grating or crunching in the joint when moving it. Exercise and losing weight are two recommended ways of lessening the effects of osteoarthritis. Low-impact exercises, along with over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, are some of the best ways to keep osteoarthritis at bay.

Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints and surrounding tissues. Early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can include fatigue, joint pain and stiffness, loss of appetite, and low-grade fever. These symptoms may be mild at first and come and go over time. As the disease progresses, the symptoms may become more severe and persistent. Joints may become swollen, red, and warm to the touch.

In advanced cases, joints may be severely damaged, resulting in deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other organs in the body, including the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis typically involves a combination of medication and changes in lifestyle. The first medicine that patients are typically given is a DMARD called methotrexate. Patients can also take steroids or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

Early Gout Symptoms

Early gout symptoms can be difficult to identify, as they can resemble those of other conditions. However, there are some telltale signs that may indicate the presence of gout. It often attacks the large joint of the big toe.

The most common symptom is intense pain in the joint, which may be accompanied by swelling, redness, and heat. In some cases, people may also experience a tingly sensation or a feeling of pins and needles in the affected area. Other symptoms may include fatigue, fever, and nausea. Gout can be a very painful condition, but with early diagnosis and treatment, patients can be released from a lot of the pain that comes with it. Typical treatments include cold packs, over-the-counter pain relievers, and corticosteroids.

Getting Treatment for Arthritis

If you are experiencing arthritis pain, it’s important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. There are many different treatments available for arthritis, and the sooner you start treatment, the better. Arthritis is a progressive condition, meaning it will only get worse over time. Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression of arthritis and prevent further joint damage, even though it may be hard to notice the symptoms at first.

There are many different types of arthritis, so it’s important to see a doctor who can properly diagnose your condition. Once you have a diagnosis, your doctor will develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs. Treatment plans for arthritis pain may include medication, physical therapy, exercise, weight loss, joint surgery, or lifestyle changes.

Conclusion

Arthritis is a degenerative disease, and while there are many different kinds of arthritis, the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Treatment for arthritis depends on the type you have and how severe your case is. There are many treatments available that can help reduce pain and improve mobility, so if you are looking to explore your options for treating arthritis, contact Carolinas Pain Center today!