Arthritis is a serious health condition that affects people of all ages including men, women, and even children. According to research, 54 million adults have been diagnosed with Arthritis, and 300,000 children suffer from Rheumatoid condition or Arthritis. Looking out for early signs of Arthritis can help in diagnosis and treatment.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is joint inflammation or wear-down that leads to abnormal functioning of shock-absorbing cartilage. This cartilage saves and cushions our bones, and when this cartilage is impaired, it can hinder with daily tasks such as walking, opening jars, climbing stairs, etc.
Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis occurs due to wear and tear of cartilage that cushions our bones. If the damage is extreme, it leads to bones directly crushing on neighboring bones. This causes pain and limits movement. Osteoarthritis is generally developed over time, but it can also happen due to any joint injury.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when our immune system starts attacking joint capsule lining. The joint capsule is a membrane enclosing our joints. Due to immune system attacks, this lining becomes swollen and inflamed, which gradually affects cartilage and then bones.
Signs of Arthritis
- Joint Stiffness and Pain
If you feel stiffness and pain in joints, it can be a sign of Arthritis. It can also happen if you have to sit down for long hours. However, if this stiffness and pain become constant, it is an alarming sign. In osteoarthritis, this pain becomes worse with movement, and in Rheumatoid Arthritis, the pain eases with movement.
- Painful Big Toe
A painful big toe is common in gout Arthritis. This is especially true if the big toe feels too hot to touch. Gout can affect other parts of the body as well, but the big toe is the most common part affected.
- Finger Bumps
Finger bumps can occur in both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. In Osteoarthritis, bony spurs occur due to worn off cartilage. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, bony bumps coincide on feet and hands.
- Sleep Trouble
While some factors can cause sleep trouble including other health issues, stress, and other such factors, Arthritis makes sleeping uncomfortable and painful. This lack of sleep further leads to more pain because sleep deprivation increases inflammation, which increases anxiety.
Fatigue is also something that can normally occur due to sleep deprivation, but again, it can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. If fatigue is accompanied by weight loss, fever, and loss of appetite, then it can be arthritis.
- Red and Patchy Skin
Psoriasis is a skin condition that increases the life cycle of cells on the skin, which causes skin cell build up on the surface. This appears as red and patchy skin surface. People with psoriasis often have psoriatic arthritis too, which occurs due to joint and skin inflammation.
When to See a Doctor
Arthritis develops and progresses over time, and many people are not able to figure out the condition until it has worsened. However, it can be treated to prevent permanent damage. And for that to happen, it is necessary to consult your doctor if you notice the above-stated symptoms.