A short list to help you know what symptoms to look for when it comes to spotting Arthritis early.
Arthritis is a general term that covers more than 100 related conditions that have to do with joint pain. Some of these types of arthritis require immediate action and some more infrequent or mild joint pains may not need quite as urgent treatment. While it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor if you have a health concern, it’s helpful to know what symptoms to look for when it comes to spotting and treating arthritis early.
If your pain is waking you up at night, that can be a big clue that something serious is going on. Around 80% of people with arthritis have trouble sleeping because of pain and stiffness and, on top of that, poor sleep can actually make your joint pain worse. Treating insomnia or sleeplessness is an important step of managing your arthritis.
Pay attention to your discomfort! Does it ebb and flow? Or is it constant? If something feels off and doesn’t go away after an hour, it’s worth getting checked.
Swelling of your joints is usually a sign that something is inflamed. Inflammation of the joints is a symptom for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (although it is much less common in osteoarthritis), so it’s important to take note of your swollen joints and get them investigated and treated by a professional.
This one is plain and simple, if your joint pain is keeping you from completing your daily tasks or if you’re skipping activities that you enjoy because you are worried about pain - consider seeing a professional. People usually create work arounds for barriers like joint pain. Things like avoiding your favourite store because the stairs are too painful to walk up or cancelling a walk with a friend because of stiff joints. Adapting like this is ok for a day or two, but if you’re still avoiding certain activities a month later, something is up. Arthritis should not keep you from doing the things you love!
If you’re experiencing any of these common symptoms of arthritis, it may be time to start treating your joint pain. It may be as simple as implementing an exercise routine to help increase your strength and flexibility and combat pain and fatigue. Helping my Arthritis offers current education and treatment options around first and second-line physiotherapy for hip and knee osteoarthritis patients around Surrey, Delta, and Vancouver BC. With the recent growth in telehealth options, we are able to now offer osteoarthritis management programs to patients living anywhere in BC! Reach out today to learn more about how to help your arthritis, call 604 306 0127 or email to consult with Nadine, the physiotherapist behind Helping My Arthritis.