The First Signs of Arthritis

Arthritis is a cruel disease that affects millions of people in the United States alone. You might think that arthritis is a natural part of aging, but the truth is that it can strike young people too. Understanding your risks and being on the lookout for these early signs of arthritis may help you and your orthopedic doctor manage it and prevent its progression.

Stiffness in Joints

While many athletes and active people may wake up with some joint stiffness in the morning, stiffness that lasts past an hour could be a sign of trouble. Joints that are typically affected by arthritis are knees, fingers, hips, and the lower back. If your prolonged stiffness is affecting one of these areas, let your orthopedic doctor know right away.

orthopedic_specialistsRedness or Warmth

This set of symptoms most often affects the knees and hands. Unusual warmth surrounding the joints or a color change with tinges of red in the skin around the joint are a strong indicator that arthritis is present.

Joint Swelling

Hands and knees again will be the most obvious joints where you’ll spot swelling. It may become difficult to get your rings off or on due to the enlargement of your knuckle joints. Swollen knees or ankles are usually easy to notice, and you may have issues wearing certain shoes or pants if the problem is severe.

Pain

Last but definitely not least is the symptom that sends most people to their orthopedic doctor: PAIN. Arthritis pain can become so severe that it’s debilitating. Too much activity, not enough activity, cold or rainy weather, and more can trigger serious pain in one or many of your joints.

Arthritis doesn’t have to sideline you from your most-loved activities. Working with your orthopedic doctor to formulate a treatment strategy will help you stay mobile and comfortable. Catching arthritis early gives you an even better chance of preventing further damage, so if you’ve noticed any of the above signs, it’s time to schedule an orthopedic appointment.

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