It’s normal to feel some soreness and pain when you embark on a new exercise or activity — or if you’re pushing yourself harder than usual. However, if you’ve started to feel a new type of pain in your joints, it’s worth considering that it might be cause for concern. Arthritis can affect your joints and cause similar symptoms and will need some medical intervention. Although your doctor is the best person to determine whether your joint pain is problematic or not, here are some things to keep in mind when looking at your symptoms.
Pain is one (but not the only) symptom of arthritis. It’s difficult to identify just from the type of pain or how it affects you whether or not the pain you are feeling is due to arthritis. For example, arthritis pain can happen either when you’re moving or when you’re still. It might be in just one part of your body or in several parts. It may come and go, or it may be a consistent pain. Because of this variance, pain alone is generally not enough to diagnose arthritis. Knowing what kind of pain you’re experiencing and with what frequency can be helpful things to keep track of, however.
On the other hand, if you are stiff in the morning for an hour or more, this can be a strong indication that you have arthritis. Stiffness as a result of arthritis is also common after you have spent a long time in a car or sitting at a desk.
Stiffness that is so strong you struggle to get up from a chair or pain caused by doing so may also indicate arthritis. It should not be difficult for you stand up (although some achiness can be expected if you’ve recently been active).
Arthritis can cause your skin to swell several times a month or for days at a time. It may also turn red and feel warm to the touch. You should see your doctor for swelling that happens four or more times monthly or that takes three days or more to get better.
There are a few things you can do before your appointment to help you get the most accurate diagnosis. This includes writing down what your symptoms are and details about them, such as what makes them feel better and how long they last. Be sure to write down what parts of your body feel sore or stiff and whether you are experiencing additional symptoms as well, such as fatigue. These can help your doctor determine whether arthritis might be present and how it’s affecting you.
At Wellcare Urgent Care, we can provide comprehensive, professional medical care when you need it most. To meet with our team, we invite you to contact our Grand Rapids office by calling or filling out our online form.