Arthritis Symptoms: How Do You Know if You Have Arthritis?

Arthritis is one of the most common disorders, affecting over 50 million adults and 300,000 children in the United States alone. There are several different types, each with specific arthritis symptoms that you could experience. Some types don’t even have a known cause, though your family history, gender, age, and even some health issues could be related.

Though arthritis can’t be cured, there are a few treatments available for managing this disorder, depending on your symptoms and the severity of it. Your doctor may offer medication or therapeutic injections. Physical therapy and other rehabilitation therapy can also improve your range of motion and strengthen the affected area.

Elderly woman with arthritis symptoms doing exercise on a machine to prevent arthritis from worsening.

What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

Arthritis signs can vary, depending on the type you have, though there are some similarities. Pain is the most common, though it can be constant or inconsistent. Swelling of the affected areas is also common, as is stiffness, especially in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Difficulty moving the affected joint is another symptom many arthritis sufferers deal with.

Those with osteoarthritis may complain of grating in the joint, tenderness, or bone spurs. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may also include multiple affected joints, especially the small ones in the feet, wrists, and hands, as well as those on both sides of the body.

Where Does Arthritis Usually Start?

Where arthritis starts is determined by the type you’ve been diagnosed with. For instance, osteoarthritis usually affects weight-bearing joints first, like the spine, hips, knees, and feet. There could be other areas affected as well, depending on your work habits and activities. This is caused by the break-down of cartilage between the bones, which eliminates the cushion between them and causes pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins in the small joints of the hands, which is why your arthritis symptoms start there first. This type is an autoimmune disease, which means that your own immune system is attacking your joints, leading to inflammation and other arthritis symptoms and signs.

What is Arthritis Pain Like?

The pain caused by the symptoms of arthritis can vary from person to person, depending on the severity of their specific case. You may be dealing with constant pain, whether you’re moving the affected joint or staying motionless. Others experience pain that comes and goes.

You may feel a dull ache in the joints or more of a burning sensation. The pain could begin after you’ve performed an activity that works the joint a great deal or right after you wake in the morning when your joint has been stationary for a long period. Some people also feel stiffness and discomfort during changes in the weather, especially when the humidity hits.

Fairview Rehab and Nursing Home in Queens NY offers a variety of care and therapy services to patients. Patients with arthritis symptoms and other health conditions enjoy personalized rehab therapies helping them regain their strength and motion. Contact us for more information about our outpatient and inpatient rehab therapies and nursing care. We are here to answer any questions you may have.