Symptoms of Arthritis

Looking for these signs can help you determine if your loved one suffers from arthritis.

One in every seven Americans is affected by the chronic disease arthritis. While arthritis can develop between ages 20 and 40, it is most common in older individuals. Women are typically more affected by arthritis than men.

There are well over 100 forms of arthritis, and only a doctor can diagnose your loved one. Diagnosis, however, can be especially tricky because the signs of arthritis can develop quickly or slowly. If your loved one experiences any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, he or she may be suffering from arthritis:

  • A feeling of pain in one area or in multiple areas of the body, including in or around a joint or joint area.
  • A feeling that the joints are “fused,” extremely stiff, or hard to move.
  • Difficulty doing daily tasks that were once accomplished easily (climbing stairs, washing dishes, getting in and out of a chair).
  • Ongoing or sporadic pain when your loved one moves. Similar pain when he or she has been still for a period of time.
  • Ongoing signs of fatigue.
  • Severe feelings of pain in the morning or after a nap.
  • The skin over a joint is swollen, red, or warm-to-the-touch.

Keep in mind that different people have different tolerance levels for the discomfort and pain that comes with arthritis, and this may make it even more difficult to diagnose and treat effectively. Still, if your loved one complains or shows signs of any of the above, a discussion with a doctor is probably in order.

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