12 Symptoms of Arthritis: Early Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Arthritis is a common type of autoimmune disease that causes pains to one or more joints in the body and creates inflammation and degeneration over time. It usually starts on the feet and hands but may also gradually affect the hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, and lower back when left untreated. It is chronic and may slowly progress and worsen with age. 

Arthritis can be hereditary (given that a person has a family history) and may also be acquired. A job, career, or sport that constantly puts the joints under repeated stress and pressure can contribute significantly to acquiring arthritis in the long run. Over time, other risk factors for developing arthritis may also include age, lifestyle, extreme activities, and food intake or eating habits.

According to world statistics (Global RA Network 2021 Survey), more than 350 million people are affected by arthritis globally. While it is prevalent, it is also one of the leading disability-causing diseases worldwide. Although there are different types of arthritis (each differing in a scale of severity), the most common symptoms of arthritis are usually the same, to some extent. 

Recurring Joint Pain

The most common symptom of arthritis that is present in all types, ranging from mild to severe types of arthritis, is recurring joint pains. The feeling of physical pain or discomfort around the joints in the ankles, knees, elbows, or wrist, repetitively occurring from time to time and becoming more painful with each cycle, is a common symptom of arthritis. At first, the person may not be able to distinguish the pain immediately, especially when the body is at work, but will be able to feel them once the body comes to rest. In more extreme cases, recurring joint pains are also experienced even in motion. When forced to work amidst recurring pain, it will result in swelling and redness of joints which may cause an infection.

Repetitive pain is eventually felt around the joints and in areas surrounding them when the joints are constantly put to work with too much weight or pressure on the lower part of the body. For example, a sports athlete or a laborer will likely develop joint pains, possibly leading to arthritis at a later age, because of the nature of their job.