Arthritis is very common among Americans, particularly as they get beyond 50 years of age. It essentially involves varying degrees of pain, inflammation, dysfunctions and deformity within virtually any joint of the body, although the hands, hips, knees and spine are the most common sites. There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, with the most common types being osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Recognizing the symptoms of arthritis is important in order to get appropriate treatment and reduce the risk of permanent disability.
1- Take notice of any joint pain. Joint pain is the most characteristic symptom of all types of arthritis. You might notice the pain after exercising or using the joints extensively, which is the case with “wear and tear” arthritis (OA), or upon waking and after periods of disuse, which is more characteristic of RA.
- Arthritic pain is usually described as dull, achy and/or throbbing. The more destructive types of arthritis can also generate sharp and electric-type pain.
- Arthritic pain usually starts out mild, then progressively gets worse. The pain levels of OA gradually worsen, whereas some really inflammatory types (such as gout attacks) become extremely painful very suddenly.