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Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms

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Unfortunately arthritis can be very painful for some people with the condition, and may impact people of all ages. The NHS explains that living with arthritis can sometimes mean carrying out everyday tasks that can often be painful and difficult.

The symptoms of arthritis you experience will vary depending on the type you have.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around eight million people, while rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people.

Rheumatoid arthritis often starts when a person is between 40 and 50 years old, and women are three times more likely to be affected than men.

The Mayo Clinic has outlined a number of the most common signs and symptoms of arthritis that involve the joints.

Versus Arthritis says: “A joint is where two or more bones meet, such as in the fingers, flutamide action knees, and shoulders. Joints hold bones in place and allow them to move freely within limits.”

The charity notes: “Most of the joints in our body are surrounded by a strong capsule. The capsule is filled with a thick fluid that helps to lubricate the joint.

“These capsules hold our bones in place. They do this with the help of ligaments. These are a bit like very strong elastic bands.”

The Mayo Clinic says that depending on the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms may include pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased range of motion.

There is also a certain colour you should look out for, which is redness.

There are “four important warning signs that should prompt you to talk to a healthcare provider”, according to the Arthritis Foundation (AF).

“The first is a pain which can be constant or it may come and go. It may occur when at rest or while moving. Pain may be in one part of the body or in many different parts,” the advice reads.

Another “classic arthritis symptom” is stiffness, especially when waking up in the morning or after sitting at a desk or riding in a car for a long time.

The AF states: “Morning stiffness that lasts longer than an hour is a good reason to suspect arthritis.”

Two other key signs are swelling and difficulty moving a joint.

Some types of arthritis cause the skin over the affected joint to become red and swollen and may start feeling warm to the touch.

If swelling that lasts for three days or longer or occurs more than three times a month you should speak with your doctor.

“Finding out what’s causing your pain is key to finding the right treatment and self-help options,” says Versus Arthritis charity.

As well as causing pain and stiffness, inflammation can cause permanent damage to a joint, so starting effective treatment early on can help to minimise damage.

“It’s important to see a doctor if you get any new symptoms or if you have any trouble with drugs you’re taking,” Versus Arthritis adds.

It notes that having a good understanding of your condition will help you know about your treatment options.

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