Arthritis Symptoms: When you should call a doctor?
May 8, 2017 at midnight
People who are affected by symptoms of arthritis are more common than previously thought. In fact, you may be experiencing symptoms of this ailment without realizing their cause. While this disease is often considered something that affects those who have reached a certain age, this is not often the case. No matter your personal demographics, arthritis can affect you, and these health issues have a large impact on your day-to-day life. Consulting your family doctor is the most important step towards getting your life back. But, how do you know when it’s time to take that step?
Pain is never a good thing.
Arthritis is an umbrella term for anything that affects the joints. It is marked by an increase in inflammation throughout the body and presents itself with pain and swelling most often in the shoulders, hands, knees and feet. The pain may feel worse when you are cold or after a long day at work. If you find it taking longer to relieve your pain after staying in one position too long, this is a sign that something isn’t right. If you experience pain that is no longer relieved by over-the-counter medication or you are experiencing pain more frequently than before, this often signals an underlying condition. Whether your pain is moderate or severe, it is time to consult a doctor.
Activities should be fun.
One of the most noticeable symptoms of arthritis is a decreased range of motion. This may mean stiffness and weakness are preventing you from exercises common to your routine, or you may find yourself unable to lift groceries and do the dishes. Decreases in motion often start small. Your hands ache and feel weak at the end of the night. Your grip is less tight and trembles slightly. Or, brushing your hair has become a strenuous activity better left for those times when it is absolutely necessary. But, before it reaches the point of pain with movement, it is time to see a doctor.
Damage isn’t always visible.
Joints that are visibly swollen, red, and malformed is a common symptom of arthritis. However, there are many subtypes of this disease that affect the body in less obvious ways. Inflammation can affect any part of the body including the organs. If you experience symptoms of dry skin, blurry vision, or prolonged respiratory problems, don’t wait until it becomes emergent. It is time to see your doctor.
There are many great resources and communities available for those experiencing arthritis and in need of support. However, whether you have arthritis or not, if you are experiencing symptoms that are worrisome, the best course of action is alway to consult your doctor.