Signs of Arthritis

To look into the signs of arthritis, we have to consider different types of arthritis, and believe me, there are 100s of types. If we go on looking at each of them, this single article will be insufficient for that. But we can, of course, consider major types and they are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, septic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most commonly occurring type of arthritis and is also called degenerative joint disease. It is caused by the excessive use of joints, which occurs in sports, aging and obesity. It occurs mostly in weight-bearing joints, like knees, feet, hips and spine. As cartilage degeneration is the main phenomenon in this disease, a grating sound is heard while moving the affected joint of the roughened out cartilages rubbing over each other.

Paining spur and bumps may occur on the end of the bones. Though inflammation is not common with osteoarthritis, it may occur in the joint lining, because of the degeneration of cartilage. In short, osteoarthritis is marked with symptoms like deep joint pain, difficulty while dressing, combing hair, gripping objects, sitting or bending, morning stiffness, stiffness after resting, swelling and warmness of joints and sometimes fatigue.

Other major type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis and it is marked with more severe signs unlike osteoarthritis. Signs of arthritis of this type are pain, stiffness and swelling in hands, elbows, wrists, shoulders, ankles, knees, jaw, feet and neck. Sometimes the pain occurs only in one body part, but more often, the pain occurs in several parts of the body. The occurrence of the disease is symmetrical, that is, on both the sides of the body. Joint swelling occurs and interferes with daily activities. Long lasting morning stiffness, fatigue, reduced appetite, weight loss, fever, rash and sometimes even heart and lung involvement are other signs.

The most common sign of the other major type of arthritis, gout, is a nighttime swelling, redness, tenderness and sharp pain in your big toe and also in foot, knees and ankles. The attack may last for a few days or weeks and another attack may not occur for some months or even years.

Lupus is other major type of arthritis, in which the immune cells attack body's own tissues causing damage to them. Its signs may be limited to skin, but more often internal damage may also occur. Joint and muscle pain, butterfly-like rash across the cheeks bridging over the nose, cracked or totally fallen nails, nail-beds turning blue or red, fever, fatigue, sensitivity to light, hair-loss and Raynaud's phenomenon (pain, numbness and tingling in fingers and toes at cold temperature or emotional stress) are the signs of lupus.

Septic arthritis is caused by infection of the joints and its signs are chills, fever, fatigue, weakness, inability to move the limb with the infected joint, severe pain, especially during movement of the joint, swelling and warmth.

Psoriatic arthritis is caused in 10% of people suffering from psoriasis (a skin condition in which the skin is inflamed to give patchy, red or white and raised appearance). Its signs are sausage-like swelling of fingers and toes and pitted or discolored fingernails.Thus, you can see that common signs of arthritis are mainly swelling, redness, pain and warmth of joints, in which case, you must consult the physician.

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