Arthritis is one of the most common but also one of the most misunderstood diseases in the world. Many people do not realize just how serious and painful arthritis can be, and in some cases it is actually so severe that it creates a debilitating lifestyle for the person suffering from it.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is actually an umbrella term, one that is used to define several different arthritic conditions. It is a type of joint disorder, one that is characterized by swelling, inflammation and pain.
The pain can range from being so mild that it is hardly noticeable to so severe that it causes serious problems in the person’s life and may even make them avoid doing things they once enjoyed.
There are many different forms of arthritis that one can develop and this includes osteoarthritis which relates to the wear and tear of the bones in the body to rheumatoid arthritis which results from an overactive immune system.
Each type of arthritis has its own causes and symptoms associated with it, and there are many similarities and differences between each.
Although the symptoms you may experience will vary, depending on the particular type of arthritis you are suffering with, but there are a few basic symptoms which are usually associated with all types.
Joint pain is usually one of the first and most obvious signs that there is a problem. You will feel tenderness and swelling in the joints of your fingers and possibly your toes as well.
Inflammation is another common symptom, and is indicated by joint swelling, stiffness, redness and warmth. You may also experience a loss in range of motion, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and fever.
Proper diagnosis is the first step to treatment. After all you will not be able to properly treat your arthritis until you have determined what type of arthritis it is that you are suffering from and how serious your condition is. To make a diagnosis your doctor will perform a few routine tests and from this will share the results with you.
Remember that the diagnosis of arthritic conditions can often be difficult because many of the symptoms and signs are common to various other diseases.
This makes it hard for doctors to be sure of what the problem actually is, and may result in a delay of your diagnosis. This is why you need to work closely with your doctor and be sure to keep them updated on any changes in the symptoms you are experiencing and the way that you are feeling in general.