Many people think they may have the chronic diseas of “arthiris” but never discuss it with their doctor. Many people accept the joint pain and they don’t know that it can be minimized or even avoided. Myths such as the one mentioned can pass from generation to generation, even though they aren’t true. Even younger people with joint pain, swelling or stiffness might not even consider arthritis. People would be surprised to learn that people of any age can get arthritis, even children.
Why Arthritis is a “Tricky” Diagnosis
To a practicing physician, arthritis might seem simple, but it’s really not. In fact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Arthritis can start in many ways and can be difficult to recognize. It can come on slowly and be mild, or it can start suddenly and cause intense pain that surges within a few hours. The signs and symptoms can come and go over time. It might cause the classic issues of joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, or it may first cause health problems that seem unrelated, like fatigue or a rash. Early signs of arthritis might be mistaken for an injury or the result of “too much” activity.
Call Your Doctor About Arthritis If:
- The pain and stiffness come on quickly, whether from an injury or an unknown cause.
- The pain is accompanied by fever.
- The pain develops quickly and is associated with redness and extreme tenderness of the joint.
- You notice pain and stiffness in your arms, legs, or back after sitting for short periods or after a night’s sleep
Which Arthritis Signs and Symptoms Mean You Should See a Doctor?
If you are having joint symptoms and are asking, “Do I Have Arthritis?,” you owe it to your joints and your overall health to find out. An experienced, well-trained doctor is the place to start. Because there are so many types of arthritis and conditions that affect the joints, diagnosis can be tricky. Most people start with their primary care physician but then are referred to medical specialists called rheumatologists, experts in arthritis and related diseases.
- Resources: Arthritis Foundation, WebMD