What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?
The symptoms of arthritis may vary depending on what type of arthritis you have, but the majority of these symptoms are more or less the same. The only difference would be what part of your body the symptoms show up. The most common symptoms of arthritis include:
- Joint Pain – This is perhaps the most common symptom of arthritis and the main classification for diagnosing a condition as arthritis. Joint pain may vary from severe to very mild, and the location of the joint pain will vary depending on what arthritis you have.
- Stiffness – Along with the pain you experience in your joints, there can also be stiffness in your joints and body parts that will ache in pain if forced to move.
- Swelling – the joint that is directly experiencing the pain or the body part that is afflicted will noticeably swell at the onset of arthritis. The swelling will persist, especially when there is pain in that part of your body.
- Reduced Range of Motion – Severe stiffness is common with arthritis, often you will not be able to move the joint at all.
- Redness – redness around the joint affected by arthritis is a common symptom of the condition.
Early signs of arthritis
Early signs of arthritis may include feelings of stiffness and soreness, especially when you do not use the joint for some time (for example, when you wake up in the morning). Also, one of the early signs of arthritis is swelling in the affected joint.
Symptoms Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis
People experiencing rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to the symptoms stated above, may also experience other symptoms of arthritis, such as the loss of appetite and the constant feeling of exhaustion. You may also experience a slight fever and become anemic in rare cases. This is because rheumatoid arthritis may cause inflammation due to your immune system malfunctioning.
When diagnosing arthritis, the first thing you have to do is go to your physician. If you are unsure where to go to get diagnosed, your primary care physician can refer you to a specialist. But first, your physician will perform one of the following preliminary diagnostic procedures:
- Physical Exam – the doctor will ask where the pain in your joint emanates from, but a physical exam is necessary as a first step, and it can also be used to diagnose if there are any other joints affected by arthritis, aside from where you are experiencing the pain.
- Checking your Joints will include checking for fluid around your joints or checking if the joint is warm or red, as this indicates, and inflammation.
- Checking for the range of motion within your body.
- Checking your bodily fluids – the different types of fluids in your body can be analyzed by the physician to accurately specify what type of arthritis you have. The different types of fluids that are commonly scanned by the physician include fluid in your joints, blood, and your urine.
From there, the diagnosing physician can refer you to a rheumatologist if the symptoms are severe. Then, the rheumatologist, or any other specialist, man choose to subject you to various diagnostic procedures to accurately diagnose your condition, such as:
- Ultrasound– The use of ultrasound is common in diagnosing arthritis by projecting images of your soft tissues, cartilage, and fluids in your joints. Ultrasound is also commonly used to guide the needle to remove the fluids in your joints.
- X-ray – X-ray is ideal for diagnosing arthritis as it can show the bones in your body and the complications that may plague them, such as bone damage, cartilage loss, and bone spurs. They are also ideal for tracking the progress of the condition.
- CT Scan– Computerized Tomography (CT) scan can visualize both bones and the soft tissues surrounding them.
- MRI– or Magnetic Resonance Imaging can produce much more detailed images of your bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons than CT scans and x-rays.
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