The literal meaning of arthritis is “joint inflammation”. It is an autoimmune disease that tends to cause chronic swelling of the joints. There are various forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused when the covering on the end of the bones becomes damaged. It basically affects one joint which bears a lot of weight.
In other forms of arthritis, most common form rheumatoid, the joint lining becomes sore as part of the process of the disease and affects entire body.
Symptoms and signs of this disease tend to vary from person to person and is usually common as people age. Spells of arthritis are called flare-ups and inactive periods of this disease are called remission.
Below are 6 signs that your body is suffering from arthritis:
- Joint Pain: Arthritis is a joint disease and it affects the joints first. You will suffer from pain in your joints while your body is moving or in resting position. In early stages of arthritis, the fingers and wrist hurt more than other joints. And it later on starts in the knees, ankles, shoulders or feet.
- Swelling in Joints: A typical early on, is slight inflammation of joints. What happens is that, your joints appear bigger than normal. Also this causes the joint to feel warm when touched. This can last from days to weeks and is expected to increase with the passage of time. Later on flare-ups can be felt in other joints or in the same too.
- Numbness & Tingling: Nerves have to bear pressure because of inflammation of tendons. Due to this, hands feel a numbness or tingly feeling which is also called carpal tunnel syndrome. As damaged cartilage grates against your joints during movement, your joints may squeak or might create a squeaking sound as well.
- Stiffness of Body in the Morning: An early sign of arthritis is morning stiffness. This is caused by a degenerative sort of arthritis which causes you to feel stiff for a few minutes. When it lasts for several hours, it might be a typical case of inflammatory arthritis in general. Any prolonged period of inactivity like napping or sitting will cause your body to stiffen.
- Problems Moving: Tendons and ligaments of the joints become instable or deformed due to arthritis. As arthritis progresses, you are unable to straighten or bend some of your joints. Albeit pain may affect your range of motion, it is vital to exercise gently on regular basis.
- Other Early Symptoms: Few other signs that you can notice are general fatigue, dry and itchy eyes, presence of hard bumps of tissue under the arm skin, dry mouth, disturbed sleep, pleurisy (chest pain while breathing) and over all loss of weight and appetite. A low but constant fever along with these symptoms also qualify for arthritis.
If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the above symptoms, please take the time and schedule an appointment to speak with a doctor.