Are you stiff and in pain?
Do you have joint pain? Arthritis is one of the most common causes, and there are many different types. Arthritis is the general term used to describe joint pain, stiffness and inflammation, and the specific types often differ in causes and treatments.
It’s not something that just affects people as they age; arthritis can affect people at all stages of life. For instance, gout can affect anyone at any age, while juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, as its names suggests, typically affects those under the age of 18 and may include fever, rash and breathing issues.
Other more well known types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, a destructive autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation and deformities of the joints and can also affect organs and tissues, and osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis), a non-inflammatory condition primarily caused by damage as a result of wear and tear, trauma or disease.
“While there are many different types of arthritis, most of them will start with similar symptoms,” says Dr. Maryam Pourpaki, a rheumatologist with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. “Most forms of arthritis are not curable, but depending on the type you have, there are lifestyle, medicine and sometimes surgical treatments available to slow the progression of the disease and the damage to the joints and control the symptoms to help provide a better, more comfortable, quality of life.”
If these symptoms are familiar to you, even if they come and go over time, Dr. Pourpaki recommends that you tell your doctor, as they may be early signs of arthritis:
- Joint pain (typically worsened by activity and relieved by rest)
- Joint swelling
- Joint stiffness
- Joint tenderness
- Warm/red joints
- Joint deformity
- Grinding sensations
- Lumps and bumps around joints
About the Author
Kate Eller, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs for Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. She came to Chicago and Advocate in 2014 after living in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. She enjoys road trips, exploring little towns, minimalism, hiking and urban hiking around Chicago.