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5 Symptoms of Arthritis

If you notice your joints aren’t as flexible as they used to be but are frequently stiff and sore, it may be due to arthritis.

At More MD, experienced physician John Moran, MD offers comprehensive care for arthritis. Dr. Moran focuses on therapies to relieve your existing joint pain and help slow the progression of the disease. He offers some insight into some of the early warning signs you might experience if you’re getting arthritis.

Why you have arthritis

There are over 100 different types of arthritis that can develop as you get older or following an injury. The many types of arthritis target your joints, causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness and limiting your joint’s flexibility.

The two most common types of arthritis that affect many adults in the United States include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative joint disease that affects the soft tissues that line your joints. Your joints are made up of bone, cartilage, and ligaments that all work together to give you range of motion.

Owing to age-related changes in your body, the cartilage that lines the end of the bones in your joints begins to break down and wear away. 

This cartilage normally protects your joints and prevents the bones from rubbing together. Without this tissue, movements create friction and inflammation in your joint that leads to pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of inflammatory disease. This kind of arthritis also targets the lining of your joint but it’s your immune system that mistakenly attacks the otherwise healthy tissue.

The attack causes chronic inflammation and pain that makes it difficult to move your joints.

Arthritis can develop in any of your joints but is especially common in your knees, spine, wrists, and hips. Over time and without treatment, arthritis can limit your physical mobility and leave you in chronic pain.

Early warning signs of arthritis

Joint pain may not occur until your arthritis is well-advanced. However, there are other warning signs that you should look out for to help you stay on top of your condition.

Some of the early warnings signs of arthritis may include:

1. Morning joint stiffness

Joint stiffness when you first wake up is often a sign of the early stages of arthritis. This stiffness typically lasts for a few minutes if you’re developing osteoarthritis. If you have stiffness that lasts for hours at a time, it may be an indication you have rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Joint swelling

Swollen joints are a sign that your arthritis is worsening. Your joints may appear noticeably larger than usual and you may notice they feel warm to the touch.

Swelling in your joints can occur occasionally at first and last for several days. As your conditions worsens, your joints may be frequently swollen and difficult to move.

3. Fever

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause a low-grade fever. If you have a fever and joint pain, it can be an early warning sign of arthritis or an underlying infection.

4. Numbness and tingling

When you have arthritis and your joints become inflamed, they can put pressure on your nerves. This pressure can cause numbness or tingling sensations in and around the joint. You may also feel burning sensations that radiate into other parts of your body when you move your joint.

5. Chronic fatigue

A not-so-obvious warning sign of arthritis is chronic fatigue. As your joints wear down, you may feel unusually tired. Fatigue can occur before other more obvious signs of arthritis begins. Some people experience fatigue that lasts for a few days but progresses to longer periods of time.

If you notice you’re developing signs of arthritis, you can schedule a diagnostic evaluation at More MD to slow its progression and get ahead of your joint pain and stiffness. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today. 

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