Arthritis is an inflammation of joints. There are many types of arthritis that vary by their symptoms and even treatment. However, the general clinical course is similar and is characterized by the pain in joints in different parts of human body.
From this article you are going to learn what are the symptoms of arthritis. We describe here the symptoms of different forms of arthritis for you to have the full picture of arthritis symptoms. Some symptoms are the same for every form of arthritis, the others may differ.
The Early Signs of Arthritis
It may seem strange that the first signs of arthritis include fatigue and general weakness. This state can precede the actual disease long before the other typical symptoms appear.
The next stage is so called morning stiffness. You may feel it for just a few minutes or even for some hours. Inflammatory arthritis usually brings long lasting stiffness, while degenerative arthritis stiffness lasts for a short time.
Septic arthritis is a very serious disease as it can destroy the whole joint within few days, if not treated. Septic arthritis is caused by an infection that gets into your joint and leads to purulent inflammation. This infection can also spread rather quickly affecting other parts of your body.
Juvenile arthritis is a general term for any form of arthritis that happens to children. The main symptoms of juvenile arthritis may include swelling and redness of joints and pain in feet, hands, or legs. Less often arthritis affects neck and the hip joint.
Other Symptoms of Arthritis
- Typical for arthritis is strong pain that becomes more intensive at night when you sleep or it can even wake you up. Such a pain has rheumatic inflammatory origin;
- Among other warning symptoms of arthritis is joint stiffness in the morning once you wake up. Such constraint in your body and joints usually passes within an hour or several hours after you get up and is a typical sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Very often patients with rheumatoid arthritis complain of wrist stiffness and light pain in hands in the morning. It feels like you have tight gloves on your hands;
- Inflammation and swelling of metacarpophalangeal articulations is usually a sign of rheumatoid arthritis, less often it indicates psoriatic arthritis. Visually it looks like your joints bulge out on your fist;
- The same is true about wrist joint. However, its inflammation and swelling is also typical for reactive arthritis, poker back and some other diseases of joints. If both of your wrist joints are inflamed, it is very likely that you have arthritis;
- Psoriatic or reactive arthritis can manifest itself with swelling and redness in one or several toes or in fingers. The inflamed body part looks like a sausage and hurts;
- Arthritis sometimes has a shifting inflammation. At first one of your joints swells, but the inflammation passes within a few days. However, another joint inflames immediately after the first recovers. The same happens to the third and the fourth joints and so on;
- Gouty arthritis can be accompanied by pain attacks in your hallux joints, or in knee or ankle joints. These parts can become red and swell. Such symptoms usually pass in 3-7 days. However, they recurrently return within similar intervals;
- Another interesting symptom of arthritis is pain weakening while doing active movements. Other joint diseases as a rule provoke pain aggravation during movements;
- Some types of arthritis pain is quickly and almost completely stopped with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents;
- Sometimes people who suffer from arthritis feel stiffness and constraint in waist or sacrum area or intense constraint of movements in lower back or in spine. This can last for several month or even several years;
- Sometimes together with joints inflammation you can notice small nodules under your skin near elbows. They may be a result of rheumatoid arthritis. However, these nodules can be chalkstones that are podagral symptoms;
- Some rheumatoid or reactive arthritis patients complain of fever that lasts for more than a month;
- Sometimes reactive arthritis or poker back can be accompanied by lasting eye inflammation, itching or gritty sensation in your eyes;
- Psoriatic arthritis combines both joint inflammation and psoriatic skin rash;
- Among the rheumatoid arthritis complications are general weakness, loss of weight, loss of appetite or changing of your food preferences. This disease can also be accompanied with shivering and excessive perspiration that last for quite a long time. However, make sure that these symptoms do not indicate some other disease;
- Sometimes the early signs of arthritis, especially of its reactive form, can start from digestion disorders. Later the symptoms may include strange discharge from reproductive tracts or foot rash that does not itch.
What to Do When You Have One of These Symptoms
The first you should do, if you notice one or several of these symptoms is to visit a doctor. Arthritis is a serious disease. It includes many forms that manifest themselves with various symptoms. That is why it is mandatory that you see a doctor as soon as you get a thought that you may have arthritis. Not wasting time is very important in arthritis treatment.