What does having arthritis feel like? People experiencing joint pain may wonder if what they feel is truly arthritis, but knowing the answer isn't very simple.
If arthritis, which affects the joints, is causing your pain, you may feel and see swelling and redness from inflammation. Arthritis also may affect different areas of the body, so there may be such symptoms as rash, itching, trouble breathing, weight loss, and fever, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease
Of the many different forms of arthritis, the most common types include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
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Rheumatoid arthritis results from the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the lining of the joints. People with this form of arthritis might feel flare-ups of pain for days or weeks in joints throughout the body. Inflammation eventually damages the joints in the hands and knees. The pain and stiffness may be felt on both sides of the body.
Everyday Health quotes blogger Katie Stewart of Austin, Texas, who says that her rheumatoid arthritis sometimes “feels like burning, other times it feels like throbbing — throbbing so bad that you can’t think about anything else.”
Osteoarthritis includes feelings of pain along with difficulty in moving the affected joints. Symptoms can be felt in the hands, hips, knees, and spine. The bones in the joints rub against each other, causing mild to moderate pain. In some cases, the pain can be debilitating from any kind of movement of the joint areas. The pain may radiate throughout the buttocks, thighs and other parts of the body, even affecting one’s posture, according to Everyday Health.
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People with psoriatic arthritis, usually from psoriasis, have tenderness or pain in areas of the tendons or ligaments surrounding the joints, the Arthritis Foundation notes. Along with swollen joints, lower back pain may occur.
Fibromyalgia is arthritis-related and can cause widespread pain throughout the body. Painful swelling and inflammation also occur with gout, often starting in a large joint of the big toe and affecting other areas.
Infectious arthritis can feel like having a fever that causes chills and joint inflammation. Tenderness or sharp pains may arise with infected areas, according to WebMD.
Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis have symptoms that include joint stiffness and swelling, fever, weight loss, anemia, loss of appetite, and rashes that may appear on the arms or legs, WebMD says.
When you have an idea of what arthritis does feel like, you can start treatment as early as possible. Medication, physical therapy, and exercise have been shown to relieve these conditions.
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