As years passed by, more and more people are suffering from arthritis brought about by different causes. Though different in causes, arthritis symptoms are generally the same. If you feel any of the symptoms that will be mentioned later on, it is wise to consult your health care provider to properly address the cause of the disease so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
One of the most common symptoms of arthritis is pain, usually felt in the joints. The inflamed joint feels warm to the touch, stiffens and swells. Because of the pain being felt, the person afflicted has tendency to limit his movement. A simple movement like getting up from bed, walking or even holding a glass with water proves to be difficult.
Arthritis can damage joints because of the inflammation and swelling. The deformity is caused by the damage in the different components of the joints such as the cartilages, bones and muscles. These components weaken and become unstable with the disease over time. If this happens the joints can be change their shape and eventually become deformed.
Loss of the flexibility of the joint is one of the arthritis symptoms that affect the patient's quality of life. When there is loss in flexibility, there is also loss of range of motion that a person can do. Range of motion is defined as the normal movement of a certain joint. A normal joint can easily be flexed and extended. But with people suffering from arthritis, the range of motion is compromised. This is primarily due to the swelling and stiffness of the joints. It usually occur in the later stages of the disease.
Some people lose weight early on the disease. This is mainly because of the pain that the person feels. The appetite is affected because of the general feeling of being unwell. This is one of the symptoms but a lot of doctors recommend patients to lose weight to lessen the burden on the joints later on. Sometimes, a patient can also experience low grade fevers that come and go.
Fatigue is another symptom of arthritis. People with the disease usually feel tired and lack energy to last a whole day. There is an extreme feeling of tiredness felt physically and mentally. Most of the time, the sense of tiredness they feel is not relieved by simple rest and sleep. It is important to gauge the severity of fatigue in order to cope with it well.
Oftentimes, a patient may experience crepitus. Crepitus is the grating or crackling feeling under the skin. People with arthritis feel it in the joints. The cracking noise is sometimes accompanied by pain or some sensations. But there are certain instances wherein pain is not felt at all.
Other forms of arthritis are also accompanied by swollen lymph nodes and even abnormalities in different internal organs. Organs that might be affected are the kidneys, lungs and even the heart. Knowing these arthritis symptoms is important in getting yourself or your loved ones diagnosed as early as possible.
Coping with Arthritis and Pain
Even with arthritis and pain, you can still live a quality life just like normal people. There are just some sacrifices and guidelines that you need to religiously follow in order to lead a normal and fruitful life. Coping with arthritis isn't hard as long as you have the will and determination to overcome the obstacles the diseases may bring.
Doing some exercises
Doctors and healthcare providers always advise even normal people to have some form of activity every day. People afflicted with arthritis should do the same. Choosing the right kind of exercise will decrease the pain and improve your range of motion.
It is recommended that you do exercises that will not strain your joints but rather build the muscles around it. Stretching is also another exercise that is good for the joints that you can do. Simple activities such as walking or cycling or even low impact aerobic exercises can also be done to improve strength and endurance.
Managing your medications
A lot of pain relievers are available in the market for people suffering from the disease. Some are very mild and some are really potent. Remember that all medicines have side effects. You must take arthritis and pain medications only when you need them.
If the pain is tolerable, simply rest and apply a warm compress to the affected area. If the pain becomes moderately severe, you can take over the counter drugs that your doctor has recommended. Do follow the directions on how to take the medicines. Overtreatment of your pain is not advisable, so does undertreatment. You should be able to manage your pain medications to avoid side effects in the long run.
Other coping tips
Constantly feeling pain from arthritis will affect your mood and well being. You can try writing down a journal to release your frustrations and other emotions you might feel. The release will help you somehow cope with the disease and the pain.
Since you already know that you have a disease, a lifestyle change should come in order. Eating well balanced diet will help maintain a good weight that wouldn't put too much burden on your joints. Wean yourself from food that might exacerbate your condition. Proper weight management is advised by most doctors to be able to control the disease and ease the pain.
Avoid smoking at all costs. The connective tissues are very sensitive to smoking. Stressing them out will just mean more pain on your joints. Being in pain and all, it is best not to entertain negative thoughts and attitude. Remember that depression will only increase whatever pain you might be feeling. Try to focus on how to adapt and cope with your situation. You can consider taking some form of therapies that can calm and put your emotions in check.
Overall, talk to your healthcare provider and tell him all the symptoms you are feeling. It is important for your doctor to know all these things even if it is not related to arthritis at all. This will give him complete and detailed information on how to properly manage your arthritis and pain.