Symptoms of arthritis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited range of motion of joints. Prolonged joint stiffness is another symptom.

Inflammation of the joints from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth. Tenderness of the inflamed joint can be present. Fluid may accumulate within a joint as a result of inflammation, trauma, or even spontaneously. This latter situation may occur in patients who have hemophilia or who are on anticoagulant therapy.

A few definitions...

“Arthralgias” refers to when a patient has joint pain but no evidence of joint inflammation.

“Arthritis” refers to when signs of inflammation (swelling, heat, redness, pain) are present.

Some forms of arthritis are symmetric meaning the joints on both sides of the body are involved relatively equally. Other types are asymmetric meaning one side is affected more than the other.

Surprisingly, patients with arthritis may have symptoms that aren’t joint related.

Many forms of arthritis, because they are systemic rheumatic diseases, can cause symptoms affecting various organs of the body that do not directly involve the joints. Therefore, symptoms in some patients with arthritis can also include nonspecific fever, weight loss, fatigue, and feeling unwell.

Some types of arthritis will affect the skin leading to rash or ulcers. Nodules underneath the skin can be seen in rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Eye involvement may be seen with diseases like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, sarcoidosis, and Reiter’s disease.

Dry eyes may be seen in a condition called Sjogren’s disease.

Some forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus can cause inflammation of the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys.

Another potentially serious form of arthritis, giant-cell arteritis, may present or lead to blindness.

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