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Arthritis: What are the Symptoms and Complications of Arthritis?


Symptoms and Complications of Arthritis

Are you wondering if you have arthritis and cannot figure out some of the condition’s most common signs and symptoms? Check them out below, along with common complications of untreated arthritis.

1. Painful swollen joints

Do you feel any pain in your joints, and are the joints swelling? These are the hallmarks of the symptoms of arthritis. It’s often described as achy, dull, and sometimes throbbing! Considering that inflammation is a fundamental problem in arthritis, joint pain and tenderness also come with redness, warmth and swelling.

2. Joint stiffness

When arthritis infects your joints, the joints often experience a significant limitation in range of motion. This effect may cause you to find it difficult to perform specific functional tasks, such as buttoning shirts, lifting your arms high above your shoulder and scratching your back.

3. Joint deformities

As complications of untreated arthritis advance further,   arthritic joints go through chronic inflammation and damage and may start to develop bony overgrowth, scar tissue, and other degenerative changes. The result can be the development of bumps, lumps, abnormal joint alignments (deviations), or even enlarged joints.

4. Crepitus in the joints

Crepitus either means sounds or sensations (or both) much like grinding, creaking, popping, grating or cracking. This condition can occur when the usual smooth and aligned joint surfaces are disrupted due to arthritis.

5. Joint pain (usually worse in the morning)

People with arthritis don’t have healthy joints and require longer warm-up time, especially in the morning. This symptom makes you feel some pain and stiffness in the morning or after you get up from sitting for a longer time.

Other symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

·       Muscle weakness around your joint

·       Popping or clicking with bending

·       Joint instability or buckling

·       Scraping or grating feeling in your knees

·       Bony growths in your fingers

Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

·       Two or more joints affected

·       Morning stiffness, lasting for over 30 minutes

·       Onset in smaller joints such as feet and hands

·       Same joints on either side of your body are affected

·       Low-grade fever

·       Fatigue

·       Inflammation of the mouth and eyes

·       Inflammation of the blood vessels and heart muscle

·       Low red blood cell count


complications of Arthritis

When arthritis is left untreated, the symptoms may get worse and affect your daily life. Here are a few of the possible complications associated with this untreated arthritis:

·       Reduced mobility: The more arthritis progresses in your body, the less comfortable movement becomes.

·       Possible weight gain: This complication is attributed to reduced mobility and discomfort, which keeps you from exercising.

·       Higher risk of metabolic disorders: If you’re overweight with an inflammatory condition like arthritis, your risk of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease may increase.

·       Inflammation in other body areas: If the type of arthritis you have is attributed to an autoimmune disease such as RA, the inflammation can spread to areas of your body like the skin, blood vessels, eyes and lungs.

·       Risk of falls: As per reports from the Arthritis Foundation, people with OA sometimes experience falls and possible fractures due to causes like related muscle weakness and dizziness from pain medications.

·       Limited ability to work: According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 60 percent of arthritic patients are of working age. Arthritis may decrease your ability to move around comfortably in the workplace or move to your job site from your mode of transportation.

·       Effects on mental health: Another complication of arthritis may be an increase in the risk of anxiety and depression caused by ongoing pain, social isolation and inflammation.

Remember that though there’s no cure for arthritis, you need the right treatment and a number of lifestyle changes to reduce the symptoms significantly.


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