Posted on 06/30/2021
Top 5 Symptoms of Arthritis
Top 5 Symptoms of Arthritis
Do you often complain about achy, swollen hands? Perhaps you experience stiffness in your wrists. If so, it’s easy to assume that you have arthritis. It’s not a single disease. Instead, it’s an umbrella term used to refer to more than 100 different conditions that affect the body’s joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 23 percent of the adult population in the United States has arthritis.
What to Watch Out For
Arthritis in the hands usually occurs with aging. Although, you may also develop this joint disease due to trauma or infection. Here are the top five symptoms of arthritis:
- Joint pain.
- Joint stiffness.
- Joint swelling.
- Reduced joint flexibility.
- Loss of function of the affected joint or muscle.
Other signs that may suggest that you have arthritis include loss of muscle mass at the affected area or a grating sensation when you move your joint. The skin over the affected site may also warm to the touch or appear red and inflamed. Additionally, some patients notice deformities in their fingers or small, bony bump-like swellings on their hands. Symptoms somewhat vary depending on the type of arthritis you may have.
How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
It’s not uncommon to experience some aches and pains occasionally. But if the discomfort doesn’t subside on its own within 48 hours, starts to interfere with your daily life, or steadily gets worse, then it’s time to seek medical help.
Your doctor will gather information by reviewing your medical history. This way, they will determine if symptoms like joint pain are due to arthritis or another condition. During your consultation, your doctor will discuss your family history, the symptoms you have, the status of your general health, and your habits.
They will also conduct a physical exam, which usually includes checking your body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. In addition to this, your doctor will examine your affected joints to check for any signs of swelling. They may move your joints to assess your range of motion and determine if there are any tender areas in and around your joints. Depending on their findings, your doctor may recommend laboratory tests, imaging tests, and nerve tests, among others.
How to Reduce Arthritis Pain
The CDC confirms that several approaches have been proven to help diminish arthritis symptoms. These include staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s also highly recommended that you protect your joints by avoiding activities that may cause joint injuries. Experts also promote the benefits of participating in self-management education programs that will teach patients the skills as well as the confidence to live well with the condition every day. Equally important is to talk with your doctor regularly. People who suffer from inflammatory arthritis tend to enjoy a better quality of life once they receive early diagnosis and intervention.
For some patients with achy hands, cutting back on manual activities that involve performing hand motions like writing can keep the symptoms from worsening. Applying a cold compress on the affected area and taking over-the-counter painkillers also help reduce any swelling. Others benefit from hand therapy, cortisone injections, or surgery. Are you wondering which joint pain treatment is best for your case? Visit East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity today in Oakland, California, to schedule your consultation.
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