Arthritis is a major health problem and one that many people will face as they get older. The good news is that prompt treatment can help to mitigate or even eliminate many of the symptoms. We encourage everyone to take the time to learn the early signs and symptoms of arthritis so they can get the treatment that they need as soon as the problem starts.


What is Arthritis?

Arthritis refers to a family of diseases of the joints that have most of their symptoms in common. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most famous examples but gout and a variety of other conditions are also in the group. 

All of these diseases are painful and have the potential to make it difficult to handle basic tasks. Their fundamentally debilitating nature is why it is so important to recognize them and seek treatment as soon as possible.


Are You at Risk?

Arthritis is fairly common but some people are more at risk of developing it than others. Age is one of the biggest factors. Older people tend to be more likely to develop problems with arthritis than others. Young people can still develop problems and need to watch out but it is less likely. It can run in families so people whose parents or grandparents had arthritis should watch themselves for symptoms.

A history of joint problems can also make arthritis more likely. Your weight can also be a factor. Excess weight can put stress on your joints and that makes them more likely to develop a variety of problems.


Early Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis

The good news is that arthritis tends to be easy to notice. The exact symptoms will vary depending on the type of arthritis but some of them are common to many types. We encourage you to keep an eye out for these symptoms and see a doctor if you notice them:

  • Look for swelling or redness around your joints.
  • Joint pain and general stiffness can also be signs of arthritis.
  • Many people suffer from a reduced range of movement in their joints.

It is important to remember that arthritis comes in many varieties and this is not an exhaustive list of symptoms. When in doubt, get in touch with your doctor for an examination. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health.


Aim for Early Treatment

It is always best to prevent problems, such as by losing weight to reduce the risk of developing arthritis, but that isn’t always an option. Arthritis will be a fact of life for many of us as we get older. The good news is that we can treat it.

Arthritis treatment focuses on reducing the symptoms of the disease. Some cases respond well to medication, such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory treatments. Physical therapy can also help by strengthening the muscles around the joint and helping to improve mobility. Surgery is also an option for some patients, with hip replacements being the most common example.

The first step in every treatment is meeting with doctors. They can correctly diagnose the problem and work out a treatment plan to address the symptoms. After that, it all comes down to following their instructions to keep your arthritis under control. Contact SLMA today to get in touch with qualified physicians who are equipped to help alleviate any medical issues you may have.