Only a physician can give you a definite “yes” or “no” to the question, “Do I have arthritis?” However, it’s important to understand what arthritis is and what the symptoms are so you know when it’s time to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
- Joint pain
- Pain that has lasted several weeks
- Pain that comes and goes multiple times a month
- Pain can be felt in one or multiple joints
- Stiffness and soreness
- Joint stiffness in the morning or after periods of rest/inactivity
- Soreness after activity or toward the end of the day
- Joint stiffness that results in loss of mobility or difficulty with movement
- Skin around the joint looks swollen or red
- The joint feels warm
- Clicking, cracking, or grinding sensations when bending a joint
Why an Early Diagnosis is Important
Overtime, arthritis damages the joint’s cartilage, leading to increased pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility. If arthritis is diagnosed early, orthopedic or rheumatology physicians can provide treatments and management techniques that relieve symptoms and help reduce the amount of joint damage over your lifetime.