Early Warning Signs of Arthritis and Why You Should Pay Attention To Them
Arthritis is extremely common – 1 in 4 Americans suffer from this joint inflammation and the painful symptoms that accompany it.
This means any human being has a pretty good chance of developing arthritis in his or her lifetime.
Instead of only worrying about the possibility, you can do something about it: learn about the early warning signs of arthritis, so you can do something to address it right from the start.
But here’s the deal about arthritis symptoms: arthritis isn’t just one condition. It’s a group name for so many different problems that include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Infectious arthritis
- Carpal tunnel
- Degenerative disc disease
- And much, much more
So there is not going to be one very clear warning sign that clues you in that you have arthritis. Instead, there’s a family of potential warning signs that you should be on the lookout for.
I’m going to share these with you. First off, we will talk about the top 3 early warning signs of arthritis that most people can expect to see. But then I’ll share a longer list of less common and less recognizable early arthritis symptoms that you may have never even considered before.
Why You Should Pay Attention To EARLY Warning Signs
It’s really simple: arthritis treatment is often most effective during the early stages. This means you can literally change the course of your life by choosing to deal with arthritis even before it becomes a big problem for you.
If you wait too long, you may not have as many options available to you. And it will negatively impact your life in a big way.
- Did you know that arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability in the United States? That means nothing else puts people out of work more than this issue.
- People with arthritis often also report that they can no longer enjoy leisure activities they once did.
- And about 33% of adults with arthritis also have anxiety or depression.
Though there is no cure that will automatically fix all this – it is essential to realize that, in many cases, early arthritis treatment makes incredibly significant changes and can stop those things from taking place.
So pay attention.
Do You Have To Be Older to Get Arthritis?
We often think of older people dealing with arthritis. This means young adults may never consider the below warning signs as anything to do with arthritis. But that’s simply misinformation.
Most people with a diagnosed arthritis condition are under 65 years old.
- 1 in 250 kids actually have some sort of arthritis condition
- Rheumatoid arthritis is often diagnosed in people who are in their 30s and 40s – though it can pop in in those who are both younger and older.
So absolutely everyone, no matter their age, should be paying close attention to these early warning signs below.
Parents should also be paying attention to what their children are complaining of – if they say they have any of these early warning signs of arthritis, see their pediatrician right away.
The #1 Early Warning Sign of Arthritis: Pain
No matter which type of arthritis you actually have, you will most often feel some sort of pain – particularly in your joints, but in other places as well.
This could be anywhere from slight aches or tenderness to pain so severe you can’t sleep.
Many times people will experience this pain when doing things like climbing the stairs – especially since the knee joint is the largest. But it could honestly hit you at any time.
The #2 Early Warning Sign of Arthritis: Swelling
Many types of arthritis will lead to swelling in your joints. This could be due to extra fluid, or it could be due to inflammation.
If you notice that one or more of your joints are swelling, you may have arthritis. Of course, there could be many other explanations as well that need to be addressed – like an injury – so talk to your doctor right away.
The #3 Early Warning Sign of Arthritis: Stiffness
Many times you will experience the most stiffness after periods of stillness – like when you wake up or after resting on the couch during a movie or sitting at your office desk for a long period of time.
Also pay attention to how long it takes you to get “un-stiff.” Many people may feel stiff after waking, but can quickly loosen up. Those with arthritis can take much longer.
Other Early Warning Signs of Arthritis
Now we get to some of the warning signs that aren’t as obvious – symptoms you may just brush off as being overly tired or getting older.
But if you are experiencing any of these symptoms by themselves or in combination with each other, you may have some type of arthritis:
- Joint redness
- Joint warmth
- Difficulty using your hands
- Poor range of motion
- Bumps on your fingers
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Red eyes
- Nail changes
Here’s a video of rheumatoid arthritis signs in particular:
Who Is Most At Risk For These Warning Signs?
By now everyone should know to be aware of these arthritis warning signs, but this is especially true of those with arthritis risk factors:
- If you family members have arthritis – there is a genetic component to some types of arthritis
- If you have injured your joints before – your risk of eventually getting arthritis in your injured joint is higher than if you never injured it
- If you are getting older – though we already know that arthritis is not an old person’s disease, it is also true that the older you get the higher your risk goes
- If you are a woman – you are more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis
- If you are overweight – as we mentioned making healthy lifestyle changes is key, and that is true for both prevention and treatment
However, even if none of these risk factors apply to you, you could still wind up with arthritis. So every person should be aware. And you can have a plan in place of what to do when you notice the pain, swelling, stiffness, or other signs.
In fact, I have three ideas to get you started.
What To Do Next
So if you think you may have arthritis – what do you do next? Below you will find three basic steps that will make a world of difference in the early stages of arthritis.
1. See Your Doctor
This is the #1 thing you must do, so make an appointment right away. You can expect your doctor to:
- Go over your symptoms
- Give you a physical exam
- Run all the various tests to bring you a diagnosis (blood tests, fluid extractions, x-rays, MRIs, etc.)
Often your primary care doctor will send you off to a specialist if they discover that you do have some sort of arthritis.
Depending on that diagnosis, treatment may begin immediately. This can include prescription medications like steroids and pain medications. They may also suggest physical therapy and possibly even surgery.
2. Try An All-Natural Anti-inflammatory
Since arthritis is join inflammation – taking an anti-inflammatory is key. While NSAIDs can be very helpful to those with any form of arthritis, taking an all natural anti-inflammatory that focuses on joint support is one of the best choices you can make.
RELATED: 8 Foods to Avoid With Arthritis
My favorite ingredients include:
- Turmeric: We hear more and more about this powerful spice in today’s health and wellness world. And turmeric absolutely lives up to the hype – scientific studies are showing that it’s a great way to reduce inflammation. Though adding some to your food is great, taking a supplement is a surefire way to get the concentrated amount you need.
- Boswellia: The boswellia plant (commonly referred to as frankincense), has been used to improve the joints and lower inflammation
- Celedrin: Science has looked at the way these are fatty acids have improved arthritis, and so we know that in can increase the ability to walk and decrease joint discomfort.
- Boron: This mineral does not get nearly as much attention as calcium and magnesium – but it really should. Not only does it help absorb those other two minerals (which helps arthritis too!), but it also reduces inflammation
- Vitamin D: It’s estimated that somewhere around ¾ of people (and quite possibly even more) are deficient in vitamin D. Since this vitamin is essential for managing inflammation, it is important to be upping your intake. Get some sunshine each day and take a D3 supplement.
3. Make Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes can often make the biggest impact when you are still in the early stages, so begin these immediately when you notice those early signs (or better yet… even before you start experiencing symptoms).
- Find a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can absolutely up your risk of developing arthritis
- Eat well: A low-inflammatory diet will include adding extra produce and lean protein (beans, quinoa, lentils, etc.) as well as decreasing or avoiding sugars, dairy, processed food, and too much meat
- Move your body: When you are experiencing pain and swelling, the last thing you may feel like doing is exercising. But it is absolutely essential for improving arthritis. The key is to exercise correctly and not aggravate your symptoms. A physical therapist should be able to create a routine for you.
Paying Attention To Arthritis Early Warning Signs
Your biggest takeaway should be never taking symptoms for granted. Always make an appointment and talk to your doctor the second you suspect that there could be any problems. It could be the difference between having managed arthritis or being in crippling pain for the rest of your life.
Then purchase that all-natural anti-inflammatory, so you can start calming the issues from the inside out.
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