Arthritis symptoms

your first step.

home health physical therapy alternative medicine for arthritis Arthritis symptoms can make any hope of a normal life for caregivers and patients seem hopeless. Afflicting more than 46 million Americans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, it can be one of the most crippling and difficult diseases to treat. There is hope, however as new (and old) research indicates that we have more control over preventing this disease than we once thought.

The symptoms can vary from mild to debilitating depending on any number of factors and depending on which of the three most common types you may be dealing with;

  • osteoarthritis (OA) (or degenerative joint disease - DJD),
  • fibromyalgia,
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)(inflammatory, multijoint, multisystem disease)
  • infectious arthritis.


The symptoms of joint pain and progressive stiffness can be early signs that osteoarthritis is setting up residence. These symptoms are gradual and can come on during normal, every day activities that didn't use to bother you before. This form of arthritis may affect one knee or hip or shoulder and not the other and can sneak up after long bouts of inactivity.

This wear and tear arthritis can cause minimal arthritis symptoms dispite excessive damage shown on X-rays or can be debilitating as cartilage is eventually worn through causing bone on bone contact.

Muscle weakness begins to "set in" over time as the pain and stiffness of joints limit the ability to use and exercise them. This can cause a reduced range of motion and eventually cause the joint to look not normal.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Among the symptoms of fibromyalgia are the infamous fibromyalgia tender points. They generally involve 18 most common areas of increased pain verified through various studies over a long period of time. These points can help doctors in making the correct diagnosis as fibromyalgia sufferers consistently have pain in many of these areas. To be diagnosed with this syndrome, you need to experience 11 of the 18 tender points listed below. Although these points can vary slightly from chart to chart, they tend to be most prominant where muscles come together in groups. Knowledge is power and in the case of fibromyalgia, hope for everyone struggling with this disorder.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis, however, occurs in the same joints on both sides of the body and include painful swelling, inflammation and stiffness of three or more sets of joints. Often times, it is worse after long periods of inactivity such as sleeping or sitting. Thus, it is worse in the morning when waking up. This form of arthritis is usually long term, chronic and can come and go for various reasons.

Nodules develop on about 1/3 of RA sufferers and can be prominent along pressure points like the spine and elbows.

Since RA is systemic, it can cause symptoms throughout the body. These include:

  1. Fatigue.
  2. Appetite loss.
  3. Weight loss.
  4. Mild fever.
  5. Numbness and tingling in the hands.

Infectious Arthritis

Infectious arthritis, less common, but just as painful presents with symptoms of fever, sharp pain, joint inflammation and tenderness during an injury or other illness. Infectious arthritis symptoms depend upon what has caused it (bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites) and travels via the bloodstream to the joint(s). Additional symptoms can include headaches, chills, weakness, fatigue and then painful swelling of one or more joints of the body.

Arthritis symptoms do not have to run our lives. There is so much we can do to to combat the pain! Read more about our featured resource and make combating arthrits one of your goals this year!

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