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Signs of Arthritis

Signs of Arthritis

  • Warning Signs of Inflammatory Arthritis
    There are many forms of inflammatory arthritis; signs that are typical for most include:
    • Pain, swelling and stiffness in one or multiple joints
    • Morning stiffness in and around the affected joints lasting at least one hour
    • Pain and stiffness that worsens with inactivity and improves with physical activity
    • Reduced range of motion
    • Sometimes fever, weight loss, fatigue and/or anemia
  • How many joints does it affect?
    • Usually affects multiple joints
    • Different types of inflammatory arthritis have differing patterns of joint involvement. For example rheumatoid arthritis tends to be symmetrical, involving joints on both sides of the body (e.g. both hands, both elbows, etc.) whereas psoriatic arthritis maybe symmetrical or asymmetrical
  • What joints can be affected?
    Any joint can be affected, but most commonly:
    • Small joints of the hands and feet
    • Wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, lower back and hips
  • Warning Signs of Osteoarthritis
    • Very early symptoms of osteoarthritis are intermittent pain with strenuous activity; over time, the pain is present more often
    • Morning stiffness or stiffness after a period of inactivity, usually lasting less than 30 minutes
    • Joint grinding
  • How many joints does it affect?
    Usually a few joints or a single joint, often with asymmetrical joint involvement early on (e.g. one knee may be affected but not the other)
  • What joints can be affected?
    • Weight-bearing joints, such as hips and knees
    • Neck
    • Lower back
    • Hands

Try our interactive symptom checker! This tool is designed as a resource to help you communicate more effectively with your health care provider about symptoms you may be experiencing. Simply answer the questions based on your symptoms, then print out the results and take them to your next appointment with your health care provider.