7 symptoms of arthritis and joint pain to watch out for

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Arthritis doesn’t necessarily hit older people. Even younger people should watch out for these signs,, and take care of your health.

Changes in dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle has led to a rise in prevalence of arthritis cases across the world. Most people assume that arthritis is an older people’s disease and younger people are safe from it. But arthritis can affect the younger population as well.

Regular physical exercise can help boost vitality and strengthen muscles in the body. But with no physical activity, the body can lose its conditioning which can weaken the bones and ligaments, leading to joints and muscles slowly and gradually losing strength and purpose, causing the individual to be clumsy and inactive.

Arthritis is a rheumatic condition relating to many kinds of joint problems. Caused by inflammation of the joints, this condition affects muscles around the bones, leading to stiffness and aches along with a reduced range of motion. It can occur due to injuries, infections, dysfunction of the immune system, and abnormal metabolism.

Generally, there are two types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis:

    Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage (a tissue separating two bones) wears down with time. This deterioration leads to the bones colliding against each other, causing inflammation of joints. The condition is likely to develop in sportspersons who engage in intense exercises. Repeated stress on the joint can lead to dislocation of the bones, damaging the cartilage.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is associated with inflammation and it has different variations. It is caused when one’s own immune system attacks the healthy tissues present around the joints. It is an autoimmune condition, leaving the sufferer in extreme chronic pain. A lack of Vitamin D has been linked to this disease. This type of arthritis is also more common among women.

Arthritis mostly affects the joints in the knees, wrists, hips, and spines. Although rheumatoid arthritis majorly affects the younger age group between the age group of 20-40 years, it can also affect people across other age groups. For instance, children can also have it and it is known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Dear women, you need to read this for the sake of your joints. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Some of the symptoms of arthritis are as follows:

1. Stiffness of the Joints:

One of the early signs of the development of arthritis is experiencing joint stiffness early in the morning. If the pain doesn’t persist for long then it can be classified as rheumatoid arthritis otherwise, the pain that lasts for an hour or so
can be a condition of osteoarthritis.

2. Fever

Many forms of infections can affect the body with fever. It must be noted that arthritis can show signs of fever, occurring due to an underlying infection eventually causing joint pain and lesser flexibility.

3. Chronic Fatigue:

Due to the wearing of tissues around the joints, fatigue and a sense of lethargy can gradually develop in the body. Even before the occurrence of other symptoms, chronic fatigue can be obvious, which might last for some days and progress as days pass by. The unusual feeling of tiredness and a loss of energy is common in arthritis.

4. Back Pain:

Strain in the muscle or ligament caused by an injury or any other reason may be another early sign of arthritis. If the pain does not go away within weeks of having painkillers, then it will be actively considered as a common symptom.

5. Redness of the joint:

There are many causes of arthritis, joint redness being on top of
all of them. Injuries around the bone and swelling often lead to redness in the affected areas. Joint lining or a tumour of the bone are some of the rare causes of joint pain and immobility.

Proper medication is needed for arthritis, as its symptoms include redness of joints. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Trouble while moving or walking:

If you notice that normal movements and simple activities like walking or climbing stairs seem difficult. It must be noted that a lack of movement and physical activity can worsen the state of joints, making it more painful.

7. Tingling and numbness:

Tingling sensations in the fingers and frequent numbness are early signs of arthritis. Even the occurrence of bumps on the knucklebones or swelling on them could be a sign of damage to the joints of the fingers.

The last words

Acute arthritis, especially if it affects hands and arms, can make it difficult for you to do daily tasks. The treatment of arthritis is to relieve the pain, increase strength and control mobility, and control the disease as much as possible. Doctors may suggest rest, occupational and physical therapy, hot and cold compress, joint protection, and sometimes surgery to correct joint damage. The treatment may involve one or more suggested methods.

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