6 Signs You May Have Arthritis

6 Signs You May Have Arthritis

There are more than 100 types of arthritis, each with specific symptoms. As you get older, you’re more at risk for certain types of this disease, including osteoarthritis. Knowing the early signs of arthritis helps you get early treatment to avoid future joint issues.

At Mehling Orthopedics, we’re experts when it comes to joint problems like arthritis. 

With their years of experience, Dr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit are both esteemed orthopedic specialists. Dr. Mehling and Dr. Yufit offer the most up-to-date treatments for the many forms of arthritis.

Understanding arthritis

Arthritis is a term that encompasses many forms of joint disorders. Among the many types of arthritis, they all have one thing in common — joint pain. 

Arthritis can affect any joint in your body. This disease is more common as you get older, but there are types that specifically target younger children. Arthritis is typically subdivided into degenerative and inflammatory. The two most common types of arthritis are:

Osteoarthritis

This form of arthritis occurs when your cartilage is damaged or degenerates. The cartilage provides protection in the joint space, keeping the bones from rubbing together and allowing smooth movement. Osteoarthritis is very common and makes up the majority of arthritis cases.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

RA is a type of inflammatory arthritis, stemming from an overreaction by your immune system. For some reason, your immune system attacks the inside of your joint, destroying the protective lining. This often leads to pain and swelling in the affected areas.

There are other forms of arthritis as well, each with a different etiology on how they damage your joints.

What are the signs of arthritis?

If you’re unsure whether you have arthritis, several telltale signs often show up in the earlier stages of the disease. Six of the most common signs that you have some form of arthritis are:

Joint pain

If you have joint pain that gradually gets worse over time, you could be dealing with arthritis. Your pain may come and go, be triggered by activity, or get worse at the end of the day.

Joint swelling

As arthritis progresses, you may notice swelling around your joints. This is true in both degenerative arthritis and inflammatory arthritis.

Tenderness around the joint

Along with swelling, tenderness also happens in your joint as arthritis continues to affect your joints. It might hurt when you palpate around the affected area.

Stiffness in your joint

Joint stiffness is another sign that you have arthritis. The stiffness may hit in the morning when you get up, or after you’ve been sitting in the same position for too long.

Grinding sensation

If you hear or feel grinding in your joint, you’re likely dealing with arthritis. The sensation is caused by cartilage damage, leading to the bones rubbing together.

Pain in symmetrical joints

One of the hallmark signs of rheumatoid arthritis is bilateral joint pain. This disease often affects the same joint on both sides of your body, such as both knees or both shoulders.

When to see a doctor for your symptoms

Arthritis is a degenerative disease that continues to get worse without the proper treatment. It’s important that you seek care from our team as soon as you notice an issue with your joints.

Some circumstances can signal that treatment is necessary sooner rather than later. If you experience any of the following, be sure to make an appointment with Dr. Mehling or Dr. Yufit:

The sooner you seek help for joint pain, the better outcome you can expect. Treatments start out conservatively and progress to more invasive measures the further along your arthritis becomes.

If you think you may be dealing with arthritis pain, call one of our offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, or West Islip, New York, to schedule a consultation today. You can also send the doctors a message on our website.

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