The signs of arthritis should not be ignored. It is vital to pay close attention to the warning signs in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment given by the doctor. If joint stiffness or pain is experienced, most simply ignore it. Always bear in mind that these should not be ignored.
If the individual experiences joint pain, vital details matter a lot. When a doctor is consulted, the individual will be asked if the joint pain developed abruptly or gradually and how long the pain persisted. The doctor wants to know if the pain worsens during physical activity or if it vanishes while at rest.
If injury is considered as the cause of joint pain, it is still best to consider arthritis as a possible cause.
Joint tenderness occurs around the joint. This often occurs along with other signs such as joint pain, joint swelling, joint effusion, redness and warmth. The doctor will ask what might have caused the tenderness.
It is important to bear in mind that joint stiffness is one of the initial signs of arthritis. This is defined as discomfort after an extended period of inactivity, diminished range of motion or loss of range of motion in a particular joint.
When it comes to osteoarthritis, the stiffness of the joint that occurs after waking can last up to 30 minutes. As for the inflammatory types of arthritis such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, the joint stiffness lasts more than an hour. A doctor should be consulted for persistent joint stiffness even if there is no evident swelling or redness around the joint.
Reddening around the joint
Joint redness typically indicates some sort of inflammatory process within the joint. The doctor usually performs tests to determine the exact cause of the inflammation that can be caused by various conditions including infection and rheumatoid arthritis.
Just like with redness, warmth is an indication that there is something wrong. Warmth and redness go hand in hand and considered as indicators of inflammation or infection. This should not be ignored and has the potential to be a serious consequence.
The initial start of arthritis can be linked with fever. This is an indication that it is connected to various conditions including arthritis. Fever develops as the body increases temperature to fight off infection or as a response to certain forms of arthritis.
In case fever develops along with joint tenderness or stiffness, a diagnosis is usually in favor of arthritis.
This is described as a generalized feeling of being sick. There are various conditions as well as side-effects that can cause malaise. Proper assessment of other symptoms present can help determine the exact cause of malaise. Take note that the likely cause of malaise for those who have arthritis is a combination of joint pain, inflammation and other joint symptoms.
The individual feels tired at times when the individual does not normally expect to feel fatigued.
Bumps and lumps
Some types of arthritis are linked with nodules or lumps that develop close to a joint. The doctor will assess the nodule which is useful in diagnosing the condition.