The Early Symptoms of Arthritis

The early symptoms of arthritis vary because there are over 100 types of arthritis. Since the symptoms of that disease can be variable, there are certain signs which are unmistakable.
Generally, arthritis refers to a disease of the joints, which can often result in joint pain, swelling, stiffness, or loss of joint function over time.

The two most common types of arthritis are:

OSTEOARTHRITIS

Often called degenerative or wear-and-tear arthritis - It usually first appears after age 40 or 50 and develops slowly. Severe trauma to a joint can sometimes cause more rapid development of osteoarthritis.It's thought to be caused by the wearing out of a joint through use or overuse.

It occurs when cartilage (a tough smooth, slippery tissue that cushions the bone ends in your joint)deteriorates, causing the normally smooth surfaces to roughen.Eventually, cartilage may wear away to the point where bone ends touch and rub.

THE MAIN SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS are pain, stiffness and occasionally, swelling in a joint. These typically come on slowly with periods of relative calm alternating with flare-ups. These flare-ups often follow activity involving the joint, especially when the joint is overused. Flare-ups may also coincide with a change in the weather. Osteoarthritis can occur in essentially any joint, but it usually affects only a few joints on one or both sides of the body.It is often found in the spine and also commonly occurs in the knees and hips, the fingers, the joint at the base of the thumb and the joint at the base of the big toe.

THE CAUSE is not exactly known but cartilage damage is a key factor. An abnormality of your joint structure or a previous joint injury may increase your risk of developing cartilage damage. Other risk factors, in addition to getting elder, include lack of exercise, excessive weight and certain genetic conditions.

RHUMATOID ARTHRITIS

This kind of arthritis begins between the ages of 25 and 50, often developing within weeks or months. About 75 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis are women. It is considered to be an autoimmune disease. What it means is that, your immune system attacks parts of your body.In this case, it primarily attacks joint linings which are there to protect and lubricate your joints. The early symptoms of arthritis in this case,make your joints feel warm, painful and swollen and often become stiff, particularly in the morning. In more advance and serious cases the process aggravates and does damage to the tendons and ligaments around the joint. Over time the muscles surrounding the joint may become weak and the joint may eventually be destroyed.
Beyond your joints, the immune reaction that causes rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inflammation in other parts of the body such as your heart, lungs, nerves, blood vessels and skin.

The early symptoms of arthritis pain are:

  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Tenderness in and around the joint
  • Limited range of motion in one or more joints
  • Redness and warmth around the affected joint


Here is a List of Other Forms of Arthritis:

Early symptoms of arthritis can appear suddenly in multiple forms on older adults.

GOUT - is well known to occur most frequently at the base of the big toe.

PSEUDOGOUT - is likely to occur in the knee, wrist or ankle.

INFLAMMATORY SPINE ARTHRITIS - a form of arthritis related to psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases and infection.

POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA - early symptoms of arthritis of this kind causes moderate to severe muscle aching and joint stiffness, often in the shoulders, hips and neck.

SYSTEMIC LUPUS - autoimmune disease which affects women more often than men. It affects the joint lining and also other parts of the body such as your skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, lungs and brain.

INFECTIOUS ARTHRITIS - sudden intense pain, usually in a single joint. The affected joint may become warm and swollen, and there's often an accompanying fever. Like mentioned at the very beginning of this page there are over 100 of autoimmune diseases associated with arthritis. If you have some king of inflammation and signs of arthritis you should see your doctor to do a number of tests.


Useful Websites for ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM:

American College of Rheumatology

Arthritis Foundation and American Juvenile Arthritis Organization

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

The Arthritis Society


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