How to Tell If You Have Arthritis
There are eight tests one may apply to determine whether one has arthritis:
1. Does exercise cause greater ache in your joints? This is one of first signs of the beginning of arthritis.
2. Do you have stiffness in your joints when you get up in the morning, and the stiffness goes away after about a half hour. This, too, is an early sign of arthritis.
3. Gently exercise the affected joint over its complete range of motion. Does the joint creak or cause pain when you bend it to
its normal limits? This is another sign of arthritis.
4. Check the skin over the affected joint. Is it pulled tight? Is it shiny? These symptoms suggest the swelling that is caused
either by osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Are the joints hot, or are they cold? If hot, you may be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. If cold, it may be osteoarthritis.
6. When you experience joint pain, is there swelling, or do you have a fever? If so, you may have either rheumatoid arthritis, or else a joint infection.
7. Do your joints crackle when they're moved, or feel "gritty"? This is a symptom of osteoarthritis. The crackling sound is caused by irritated cartilage and bones rubbing together, making a grating sound.
8. Are the affected joints symmetrically located? That is, if the joints in the first finger of each hand are in pain, you may have rheumatoid arthritis.
Visit our office for advice and possible treatment if you suspect that you have arthritis.
(c) JA, February, 2005