When you hear the word “arthritis,” your thoughts may turn to an elderly family member or a senior. In actuality, arthritis can affect people of all ages. Arthritis is a common autoimmune disorder which causes painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Arthritis can take many different forms, but here are five common symptoms.
Morning stiffness, or stiffness after a prolonged period of inactivity like napping or sitting, is a common early sign of arthritis. Depending on the type of arthritis, the stiffness could last for minutes or even hours. If you are consistently stiff in the morning, for an hour or longer, it’s probably a good idea to contact a rheumatologist.
Joint pain occurs most commonly in the fingers and wrists, but can also manifest in other parts of the body. Everyday activities, like writing or tying your shoes, can become a tricky and painful chore. Applying heat or cold to the affected areas can ease the pain in the short term. Heat relaxes muscles and cold reduces swelling.
A low fever (< 100 degrees) accompanied by joint pain or inflammation is a very likely sign of arthritis. If you experience a fever in tandem with joint or muscle pains, consult a doctor about your symptoms.
Inflamed tendons put pressure on your nerves, which leads to that tingly feeling in your hands or feet. Numbness can be improved using wrist braces, steroid injections to reduce swelling and in more severe cases, surgery to release the entrapped nerves.
An altered range of motion
Inflammation can cause tendons and ligaments to become deformed, therefore making it more challenging to bend or straighten certain areas of the body. A doctor may recommend occupational therapy to decrease pain and increase motor abilities.