According to the CDC, in the U.S., 54 million people (23% of adults) suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is when a person’s immune system begins to attack their own tissues that line the joints.
This autoimmune disease can be painful and impair a person’s mobility.
Keep reading to learn the five symptoms of early onset arthritis to keep your joints healthy and more mobile.
1. Joint Pain or Stiffness
Pain or stiffness in any of your joints is oftentimes one of the first symptoms of arthritis people notice. There are other issues that can also cause this pain, but the pain that people associate with RA is symmetric, meaning it would affect both of your hands and wrists at the same time, not one at a time.
If you notice in the mornings your hands, wrists, or feet are stiff for up to two hours this is a major indicator that you have RA, especially when the pain is unexplained and chronic.
Another symptom that is important to look at is getting tired quickly and often. You may notice that you’ve been fatigued for weeks or even months before realizing what’s causing it.
On its own, being overly tired can be caused by numerous things, but when coupled with other symptoms of arthritis, it definitely contributes to it.
Excessive swelling in your hands, wrists, feet, or ankles can mean you’re developing RA in those areas. It’s a symptom that occurs extremely early in the process of developing RA and you shouldn’t ignore these symptoms.
If the swelling is accompanied by warmth in those areas, it might be time to speak with a rheumatologist.
4. Numbness and Tingling
Inflammation inside your tendons can increase and create extra pressure on your nerve endings. When this happens you might feel tingling, numbness, or a burning feeling in your hands. This is commonly referred to as carpal tunnel system but is also a cause of arthritis.
The joints in your feet and hands could also crack or create a squeaking noise when you move them. This noise is from the damaged cartilage that grinds directly against your joints when you move.
5. Loss of Function
When you ignore these symptoms of arthritis in your hands or feet you may start to notice you’re losing function in those areas. This is because the nerves are being damaged due to the RA not being treated properly.
Maybe you used to type faster or be able to open jars with more ease than you can now. You don’t have to live in pain, there are many treatment options out there that you can take advantage of.
Recognize Early Onset Arthritis Today
Now that you know how to spot early onset arthritis start paying more attention to your joints today.
Do you recognize these signs in someone you love? Share this article with them so they can take better care today. Then check out our Health section for more health advice.