Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the world. It affects both men and women, however, postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of suffering from arthritis. Studies highlight that more than 180 million Indians suffer from arthritis accounting to more than 15% of the old age population. Age, diet, lifestyle are few of the causes of arthritis. It is a disease that can be managed with early detection and timely treatment. However, to take appropriate steps it is important that you are aware of the signs and symptoms associated with the disease.
The Vital Signs and Symptoms Of Arthritis:
- Fatigue– Fatigue is highly common signs of all phases of Rheumatoid arthritis or RA, mainly when joint inflammation gets active. Fatigue in RA could be a result of the reaction of the body to inflammation, anemia, poor sleep & medications. Fatigue of RA which leads to a shortage of energy can have an adverse effect on mood and emotions, relationships, occupation, sex drive, attentiveness, creativity, productivity & happiness. Fatigue from RA is also linked to poor appetite & weight loss.
- Joint pain– Joint pain due to RA is a result of inflammation which is present in joints when the disease is active. Joint pains also take place when the disease is not active or controlled when the joint is damaged by RA in the past. Active RA leads to joint swelling due to both thickenings of joint lining tissue & due to excess joint fluids. The swollen, inflamed joints stretch & irritate capsules which surround the joints. Joint capsule contains nerves ending in it which immediately send signals of pain to the brain. Earlier RA results to permanent destruction of joint along with damaged cartilage, ligaments, and bones. When damaged joints are used they can lead to intense pain.
- Joint tenderness– RA characteristically results in the tenderness of the involved joints. This is due to the fact that inflamed joints lining tissues have irritated nerves in the joint capsule. When irritated joint capsules are compressed by the external pressure, like from touching the joints, it is frequently tender. Pain elicited from the compression is fast. This is 1 of the reasons that RA can result in difficulty while sleeping & insomnia.
- Joint swelling– Swollen joints are commonly found in RA. Sometimes joint swellings are minimal & could be difficult to appreciate. Other times joint swellings are very apparent. Usually, patients affected with RA easily tell if their joints get swollen. Joint swellings could result in loss of range of motion of joints. Joint swelling in fingers could make it tough to get rings off & on easily.
If you or your loved one is experiencing the same, it is recommended that you consult a specialist – an orthopedician – at the earliest.