Here’s How to Recognise the Signs of Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition causing inflammation in joints, leading to symptoms such as joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion. Recognizing these signs of arthritis early enables prompt treatment, helping manage the condition more effectively.
Arthritis affects approximately 350 million people worldwide. It can affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities, but it is more common among the elderly.
There are several types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This guide will help you understand the key symptoms associated with arthritis. So let’s get to it.
What are The Symptoms of Arthritis?
Pain and Stiffness
The first and most common sign of arthritis is joint pain and stiffness. You may find that these symptoms worsen with activity or are most pronounced when you wake up in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
Pain may be constant or intermittent, depending on the severity and type of arthritis.
Another notable sign of arthritis is swelling in the joints. The affected joints may appear larger than usual due to inflammation and can also feel warm to the touch.
This is especially common with types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
In some cases, redness over the affected joint can be one of the signs of arthritis. The skin over the inflamed joint can appear red and feel warm, indicating an ongoing inflammatory process.
Decreased Range of Motion
Arthritis can also cause a decrease in the range of motion of your joints.
You may find it difficult to perform movements that were previously easy, such as bending your knee, flexing your wrist, buttoning a shirt, or opening a jar.
You may notice a grating sensation or hear a ‘cracking’ sound while moving the affected joint. This phenomenon, known as crepitus, can also be a sign of arthritis.
It may surprise you that fatigue is often associated with arthritis. Chronic inflammation in the body can lead to feelings of tiredness and fatigue, which may be an indicator of this condition.
Changes in Appearance
In some cases, signs of arthritis may include changes in the appearance of the joint. For instance, your fingers may start to shift to the side, or you might notice small lumps or nodules in your hands or fingers.
Listen to Your Body
Seriously, if you experience any of these signs of arthritis, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider. While arthritis is a common condition, especially among older individuals, its symptoms can be managed effectively with the right treatment and lifestyle modifications.
Don’t wait until the symptoms become severe. Listen to your body, take note of the signs, and seek professional advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are numerous foods that can help alleviate arthritis symptoms due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3-rich foods like salmon, mackerel, and chia seeds can reduce inflammation.
Fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in antioxidants like berries, spinach, and kale, can also help. Other beneficial foods include nuts, seeds, whole grains, and olive oil.
While you can’t completely prevent arthritis, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight relieves stress on joints.
Regular exercise helps keep joints flexible and strengthens the muscles around them. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can also support joint health.
Avoiding injury, particularly repetitive stress injuries, can also reduce arthritis risk.
If you have arthritis, it’s best to avoid foods that can trigger inflammation. This includes processed foods, fried foods, sugars, and refined carbohydrates.
Red meat and dairy products can also cause inflammation in some people. It’s also a good idea to limit your intake of salt and preservatives, as they can cause joint inflammation.
Alcohol and tobacco can also aggravate arthritis symptoms and should be avoided. As individual reactions can vary, it may be beneficial to keep a food diary to identify any foods that worsen your symptoms.