Pain management for arthritis is something that more than 58.5 million people in the US alone are constantly seeking out. That’s almost twice as many people as have heart disease, the country’s leading killer.
While arthritis may not be as deadly as heart disease, it affects more people and can greatly diminish the individual sufferer’s quality of life. Knowing the early signs can keep you ahead of the disease and better able to manage it. Here are the most common early signs.
It Starts With Your Joints
The joints are where most of the arthritis symptoms originate. We’ll be going further into the particulars in a moment, but the common initial signs include sharp pains from out of nowhere and swelling.
You also might feel tenderness or stiffness in the affected joints. You could experience these in multiple locations simultaneously or in an isolated area.
Grinding or Clicking
Another sign that you may be experiencing the early stages of arthritis pain can come audibly. It takes the form of a grinding noise or feeling whenever you use the affected joint.
This grinding sound can also take the form of a clicking. The clicking usually happens because of stiffness in your overall range of motion.
Agitation of Previous Injuries
One of the risk factors for arthritis is having a previous injury related to the skeletal system. Something like a broken bone or compression fracture.
When a bone breaks and later heals, it loses something of the stability that it once had. This stress makes it more susceptible to further aches and pains, which can more easily come in the form of arthritis.
Yes, really! Pains in the groin area from out of nowhere can mean the onset of arthritis for one simple reason. They do not originate there.
Usually, arthritic pain experienced through unexplained discomfort in the groin is due to pelvic strain or trauma. The pelvis is one of the larger skeletal system members.
Its proximity to the groin makes it easy for pain receptors to end up traveling to the groin area. (Thus explaining how the two are often connected.)
Pain or Stiffness of Extremities
Another area to consider when answering the question of what is arthritis? Your hands and feet, otherwise known as your “extremities.”
These areas are dense with bones. In fact, they comprise more than 50 percent of the bones that you have in your entire body (106 out of 206, to be exact).
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, and with the hands and feet, you have several. If you’re going to get it, you’re more likely to experience it there first.
A more severe form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, often comes with the symptom of mirror joint pains. Take the knees, for example.
Your left knee and right knee are virtually the same but located on symmetrically opposing sides of the body. Experiencing the same pain, and level of pain, in both is a good RA indicator.
Wondering when to see a specialist? If you haven’t before RA, you will after!
Pain Management Is Essential for Arthritis
Arthritis will not necessarily shorten your life, but you have to find means of pain management if you want to maintain a strong quality of life. Knowing the signs will give you the tools you need to do so. For more health and wellness articles and tips, check out some of our additional posts!