May is designated National Arthritis Awareness Month to help more people successfully overcome the problems caused by this very common joint disorder. Arthritis is the #1 cause of disability for people over the age of 55 years in the United States. There are more than a 100 different types of arthritis with the most common types being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Here some signs and symptoms of this disease:
Joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function are common symptoms. In osteoarthritis, the symptoms are caused due to the wear and tear of the cartilage covering the ends of the bone within the joint. In rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms are caused by an autoimmune disorder which causes inflammation in the joints.
Distinguishing signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- Osteoarthritis symptoms are usually one sided. For example, just one knee or hip may be painful while the same joint on the other side of the body may not have any pain.
- The symptoms get worse with overuse. So if you are on your feet and active throughout the day, your osteoarthritis signs and symptoms are likely to get worse by the end of the day.
- Over time, the osteoarthritic joints tend to become enlarged. Any joint in the body can be affected by osteoarthritis.
Distinguishing signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms occur symmetrically on both sides of the body. For example, both knees, or both shoulders or both hips will hurt. It’s never just one side.
- The symptoms are usually worse in the morning and get better as the day progresses. On examination, the joint affected by rheumatoid arthritis may be hot to touch and slightly red or discolored.
- Over time, the joint tends to become deformed or twisted. The joints at the ends of the fingers and toes are usually not affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
While there is no cure for arthritis, by identifying the condition early and with proper management, you can significantly slow down the progress of the disease.
NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.