The 5 Main
M I C H A A B E L E S
known as rheumatoid arthritis or RA, is an autoimmune disorder that targets the
lining of one or more of your joints, causing them to become inflamed. There are
quite a handful of symptoms for this disease because there are more than 100
different types! Whatever form of arthritis you think you may have, below are
some of the five main symptoms.
A R T H R I T I S ,
One early sign of arthritis is joint swelling, of which there are many different
forms. The first consists of swelling of the physical lining of the joint, which
causes your joints to appear much bigger than normal. Another form consists of
increased synovial fluid production, which is a fluid found in joint cavities that
reduce friction between the cartilage of joints during body movement. In
addition, some forms of joint swelling consist of more blood entering the joints,
which makes the joint swell and even feel warm. In general, most swelling can last
anywhere between a few days to a few weeks, and most often, the joints that
suffer from swelling feel stiff.
J O I N T S W E L L I N G
You would ever think that redness around your joints would be a sign of arthritis,
but it’s true — and actually quite common! The skin surrounding your joints may
swell with blood, causing redness around the affected area. It can often be
accompanied by warmth from the extra blood, joint stiffness, or joint pain.
J O I N T R E D N E S S
With synovial fluids and blood causing your joints to swell, sometimes they can
gradually firm up and “gel” together, which causes joint stiffness.
If you frequently wake up in the morning with stiff fingers, arms, and legs, that
could be an early warning sign for arthritis. Typically your joints and muscles go
into relaxation mode after any period of prolonged activity, like sleeping.
However, determining arthritis after a good nights’ sleep can be difficult because
some may confuse the stiffness with a typical morning ache.
Carefully note if you have a tough time moving or stiffness that lasts for several
hours because that’s a major warning sign that you have arthritis!
S T I F F N E S S I N Y O U R J O I N T S
You may notice that you can’t move your ligaments as far or as much as you used
to. This is because the frequent joint swelling has caused your ligaments to
become unstable or deformed over time. And as the swelling progresses, you may
find yourself unable to bend or straighten some of your joints, which may result
in joint pain.
D E C R E A S E I N R A N G E O F M O T I O N
Have you noticed you can’t do some activities you usually do? If typing, climbing
the stairs, or even walking has become painful for you, you might have arthritis.
An over-the-counter pain reliever can usually do the trick.
J O I N T P A I N