Arthritis Symptoms / Diagnosis
By Carol Eustice, About.com Guide
- Recognizing Early Symptoms
- Joint Pain - Arthritic Joints
- Getting Diagnosed With Arthritis
- Consulting a Doctor
- All About Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Gout and Pseudogout
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Lyme Disease
Recognizing Early Symptoms
Early arthritis symptoms can be vague and confusing, but they are important to recognize. Newly diagnosed patients quickly realize that early symptoms are just the first layer to be uncovered before a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan for arthritis can be established.
- Arthritis Screening Quiz
- Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
- Recognizing Early Arthritis Symptoms
- Don't Ignore These 10 Arthritis Signs
- Just Normal Aches and Pains or Is It Arthritis?
- Types of Arthritis and Related Conditions
- What Is a Comorbid Condition?
- Types of Pain Scales
- What to Do if You Suspect Arthritis
- Normal Versus Arthritic Joint
- Variability of Arthritis Pain
Joint Pain - Arthritic Joints
Arthritis can affect any joint. Certain types of arthritis are associated with a specific pattern of joint disease. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is usually symmetric -- affecting the same joint on both sides of the body. Other types of arthritis typically affect a single joint. It's important to tell the doctor about all of your symptoms and every joint that hurts.
- Ankle Pain
- Back Pain
- Bone Pain
- Elbow Pain
- Finger Pain
- Foot Pain
- Hand Pain
- Hand Arthritis - An Overview
- Hip Pain
- Hip Arthritis - An Overview
- Jaw Pain
- Knee Pain
- Knee Pain - An Overview
- Knee Arthritis - An Overview
- Leg Pain
- Muscle Pain
- Neck Pain
- Nerve Pain
- Rib Cage Pain
- Tendons Explained
Getting Diagnosed With Arthritis
An accurate diagnosis precedes appropriate treatment of arthritis. With over 100 types of arthritis, early symptoms can overlap and diagnosis can be difficult. Your doctor will look for very specific signs, symptoms, and disease characteristics. Your doctor will also consider your medical history, physical examination, blood tests, and imaging studies.
- Diagnosis of Arthritis
- Blood Tests for Evaluating Arthritis
- What is Rheumatoid Factor?
- What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP)?
- What is a Sedimentation Rate?
- What is Anti-CCP?
- Lab Tests - Test Your Knowledge
- Do Normal Blood Tests Rule Out Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Is Arthritis Hereditary? Should Your Children Be Tested?
- What Is Pannus?
- What Is DAS28?
- Know Your Type of Arthritis
Consulting a Doctor
Doctors play an essential role in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis. Good communication between a doctor and patient is essential. It's important to know what to expect from your doctor and what your doctor expects from you. It's your doctor's job to assess your symptoms, gain more information from your medical history and a current physical examination, order diagnostic tests, and put together a treatment plan. It's your job to provide your doctor with as much pertinent information as possible. The goal is mutual - to improve your health.
- The Right Doctor for You
- First Visit to the Rheumatologist
- The Patient-Physician Encounter
- How Would You Rate Your Doctor?
- Should You Change Doctors?
- 10 Reasons to Fire Your Doctor
- How to Prepare Yourself and Your Young Child for a Doctor Visit
- Patient Education - Can Your Know Too Much?
- The Importance of Patient Satisfaction
- Dealing With a Bad Doctor
- Reasons to Inform Your Doctor
- When Doctors Don't Agree
- What to Expect From Your Rheumatologist
All About Arthritis
Arthritis literally means joint inflammation. Arthritis is not a single disease. Arthritis refers to a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases and other conditions that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Some types of arthritis affect more than the joints. There can be systemic effects associated with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other types of arthritis.
- Is Arthritis Contagious?
- What Is Arthritis?
- Fast Facts About Arthritis
- 10 Things You Should Know About Arthritis
- Arthritis Risk Factor Quiz
- Test Your Knowledge - Arthritis
- Types of Arthritis and Rheumatic Conditions - Test Your Knowledge
- Rheumatism, Rheumatic Disease, and Arthritis - Are They the Same?
- Women Are More Affected by Arthritis Than Men
- 10 Basic Facts Most People Don't Know About Arthritis
- How to Manage an Arthritis Flare
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory type of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects 2.1 million Americans and three times as many women as men. There are important facts you should know about rheumatoid arthritis.
- Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis - What You Need to Know
- Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- 10 Things You Should Know About RA
- Fast Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Explained With Pictures
- RA or Osteoarthritis: Which is it?
- RA or Lupus: Which is it?
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Screening Quiz
- Test Your Knowledge - Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Arthritis Hand Photo Gallery
- Rheumatoid Arthritis 101 - Free E-Course
- Are Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients More Prone to Periodontal Disease?
- Does Stress Trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Depression and Rheumatoid Arthritis - Common Comorbidities
- Differentiate Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
- More: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is considered the most common type of arthritis. About 21 million Americans have osteoarthritis. The disease causes limited range of motion, joint pain, and stiffness which affect daily living activities. Osteoarthritis is caused by progressive deterioration of joint cartilage. Typically, osteoarthritis develops gradually.
- Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- 10 Things You Should Know About Osteoarthritis
- Fast Facts About Osteoarthritis
- Osteoarthritis Screening Quiz
Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis associated with the chronic skin condition psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis usually develops when people are between 30 and 50 years old, but it can begin in childhood. Men and women seem to be equally affected by psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis symptoms occur in variable patterns and with variable intensity.
- Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
- 10 Things You Should Know About Psoriatic Arthritis
- Fast Facts About Psoriatic Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis Screening Quiz
- Test Your Knowledge - Psoriatic Arthritis
- Primary Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Guidelines
- More: Psoriatic Arthritis
Gout and Pseudogout
Gout symptoms can develop when there is excess uric acid in the body. Monosodium urate crystals that form in the joints due to excess uric acid cause gout symptoms. Uric acid is a waste product normally present in the blood as a result of the breakdown of purines. Pseudogout is a condition that develops when calcium pyrophosphate crystals accumulate in a joint and the surrounding tissues.
- Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Gout
- 10 Things You Should Know About Gout
- Gout Attack Explained
- Fast Facts About Gout
- Gout Screening Quiz
- Test Your Knowledge - Gout
- Gout Risk Factor Quiz
- Gout Diet Quiz
- Is It Gout or Pseudogout?
- 10 Things You Should Know About Pseudogout
- Gout 101 - Free E-Course
- Gout Management - 2012 ACR Guidelines
- Is There a Gout Cure?
- More: Gout
- More: Pseudogout
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis which is primarily characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints and ligaments of the spine, causing pain and stiffness in the spine. In severe cases, bones in the spine may fuse (also referred to as ankylosis) resulting in a rigid and inflexible spine. Abnormal posture may be a consequence. Other joints may also be involved including hips, knees, ankles, neck, or shoulders. The disease may also have systemic effects.
- Fast Facts About Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis Screening Quiz
- Ankylosing Spondylitis - Delayed, Difficult Diagnosis
- Spondyloarthropathy Explained
- More: Ankylosing Spondylitis
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
The most popular misconception about arthritis is that it is an old person's disease. In reality, arthritis affects people of all ages including over 285,000 American children. The course of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, or JRA, in children is usually different than is the course of arthritis in adults. Children experience different symptoms and generally have a more favorable prognosis.
- Arthritis: A Children's Disease Too
- Juvenile Arthritis Screening Quiz
- Prepare Yourself and Young Child For a Doctor Visit
- What Is Juvenile Arthritis?
- What Is Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What is Pauciarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Guide to JRA
- More: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
In lupus, the immune system of the body attacks its own cells and tissues. The joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system, and other organs of the body may be affected. There are 5 types of lupus - a disease that affects 10 times more women than men.
Fibromyalgia is an arthritis-related syndrome which can be difficult to diagnose. Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by body aches, widespread pain, sleep problems, extreme fatigue, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms, in combination with tenderness of specific areas (muscles and tender points) on the body.
- 10 Things You Should Know About Fibromyalgia
- Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
- Fast Facts About Fibromyalgia
- What Are Tender Points?
- Fibromyalgia Screening Quiz
- Test Your Knowledge - Fibromyalgia
- Fibromyalgia 101 - Free E-Course
- More: Fibromyalgia
Scleroderma literally means "hard skin". Referred to often as a single disease, scleroderma is actually a symptom of a group of diseases complicated by an abnormal growth of connective tissue which supports the skin and internal organs.
- Fast Facts About Scleroderma
- Different Types Of Scleroderma
- Scleroderma Screening Quiz
- Test Your Knowledge - Scleroderma
- More: Scleroderma
Arthritis and joint pain can occur during late stage Lyme disease. Learn how an infectious disease transmitted by a tick bite can lead to arthritis in some people.
- Fast Facts About Lyme Disease
- Lyme Disease Photo Gallery
- Lyme Disease Screening Quiz
- Test Your Knowledge - Lyme Disease