Worrying about developing a lifelong condition hits all of us at some time. It is especially the case if we have family members with it and many of us question ourselves and our bodies regularly. Asking yourself “Do I have arthritis?” is surely a worrying moment but essentially, you should always visit a doctor if you have concerns. However, here are some early symptoms you may spot and want to get checked out quickly.
Do I Have Arthritis? How Arthritis Begins
Arthritis develops when the cartilage around the joints of the body begins to malfunction. It may be that it has worn down over time or it may be due to inflammation of the joint. The cartilage acts as a cushion for the joint and bone and when it is no longer working properly, it can cause pain and swelling in the joint. Painful, swollen joints can be difficult to move and can effect mobility. Visiting a doctor as soon as you have concerns can allay some fears.
Early Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis tends to affect the larger joints in the body such as hips, knees and lower back. It can also affect the fingers, toes and neck. Usually you will only feel pain and soreness in one joint to begin with, with osteoarthritis. It will feel sore and particularly stiff, this is especially pronounced when you haven’t used the joint often such as in the mornings. You may find it takes some time to get the joint moving again when you have been immobile for a couple of hours or during sleep.
Early Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain and swelling to the joints like other arthritic conditions. Smaller joints such as fingers and toes are usually affected first. The most common symptom is painful stiffness and again, you may find it hard to get moving in the morning. Rheumatoid arthritis is a symmetrical disease which means you will have matching symptoms on both sides of the body usually.
If you are worried or feel you have some early symptoms of arthritis then you should visit your GP immediately and arrange referrals to the right specialists for your needs.