Understanding and Identifying the Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis, which is a group of diseases that usually affects the joints causing inflammation and swelling, can often be quite difficult to diagnose, as are seldom any tests that can provide a 100% accurate diagnosis. Often, it is the presence of some of the common symptoms of arthritis that can provide the clearest picture that arthritis is present.

Common Symptoms of Arthritis: Pain

One of the most common symptoms of arthritis is joint pain, which is found in all types of arthritis. Depending on the type of arthritis, the joint pain could be worse in the evening or right when the individual gets out of bed. It is also common for certain activities, especially those that require repetitive motions, to cause discomfort or pain. Pressure on the joints is also often painful and the joints themselves will sometimes become tender.

However, while pain is a common symptom of arthritis, people by nature experience pain differently. So, usually the exact description of the sensation of pain is not as important as the presence of it and the factors that generate it. Doctors will also want to know how many joints are affected and may ask the patient to rate the pain on a scale of one to ten, but again the actual degree of pain is often not the most useful diagnostic Tool.

Another common symptom of arthritis is inflammation, which, in addition to swelling, are often closely tied to pain. Inflammation is a normal reaction that is used by the body to fight infection, but in those with arthritis, the reaction is often triggered without reason, so the body begins to literally attack healthy tissue. This is caused an autoimmune response and can also lead to fluid building up in or around the joint, causing swelling.

How the Symptoms of Arthritis Affect Daily Life

In many instances, these symptoms will lead to a reduction in mobility, often caused by pain and stiffness. Depending on the type of arthritis, it is common for joints to be most stiff or painful at certain times of the day, such as when the person first gets up, or for joints to stiffen due to inactivity. In the case of the latter, the stiffening of joints due to inactivity, this can often mean that after having been seated for a while, the joints will become much stiffer. This is one reason many of those with arthritis use lift chairs, which are seats that are designed to make standing easier. Since inactivity can often cause the joints to stiffen, or gel, regular low impact exercise is considered a very important step in treating arthritis.

Unfortunately, these symptoms often lead to a self-destructive cycle, in which the individual does not move because they know it will be painful, which in turn causes the joints to become stiffer. The pain of arthritis will also often result to other conditions, such as depression or fatigue. Among seniors, this can lead them to withdraw from society and social interactions.

Another common effect of the symptoms of arthritis is that the disease causes many of the daily activities to become much harder, especially those that require a good deal of dexterity. In some cases, this will lead to other conditions, such as malnutrition, as the individual is not able to care for themselves as well.

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