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Symptoms of Arthritis

Symptoms of Arthritis: Introduction

The types and severity of symptoms of arthritis vary between the different forms of arthritis. However, hallmark symptoms of all forms of arthritis include joint inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling.

In septic arthritis symptoms also include fever, chills.

In osteoarthritis, joint pain progresses in severity over time and can lead to difficulty moving, immobility and disability. Certain types of activities may increase or aggravate joint pain. Often joint pain is worse after excessive exercise or excessive inactivity.

Inflammation of the affected joint results in redness, swelling, and warmth. A crunching, crackling or grating sound or sensation may be experienced in the affected joint, which can eventually become deformed and lead to disability of the joint.

In rheumatoid arthritis, early symptoms may include fatigue, loss of appetite, and weakness. Other early symptoms include muscle achiness throughout the body and stiffness that lasts more than one hour after rising in the morning. Ultimately, joint pain, inflammation and swelling in the joints develop. Joint destruction may develop within 1-2 years after the onset of the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect almost any organ in the body and lead to serious complications, such as rheumatoid vasculitis, skin ulcerations, bleeding stomach ulcers, and nerve problems....more about Arthritis »

Symptoms of Arthritis

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Arthritis includes the 25 symptoms listed below:

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Arthritis: Symptom Checkers

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Arthritis: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Arthritis: Complications

Review medical complications possibly associated with Arthritis:

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Do I have Arthritis?

Arthritis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Arthritis?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Arthritis includes:

Arthritis: Research Doctors & Specialists

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More about symptoms of Arthritis:

More information about symptoms of Arthritis and related conditions:

Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Arthritis:

Do I have Arthritis: NIAMS (Excerpt)

Pain is the way your body tells you that something is wrong. Most kinds of arthritis cause pain in your joints. You might have trouble moving around. Some kinds of arthritis can affect different parts of your body. So, along with the arthritis, you may:

  • Have a fever.

  • Lose weight.

  • Have trouble breathing.

  • Get a rash or itch.

These symptoms may also be signs of other illnesses. (Source: excerpt from Do I have Arthritis: NIAMS)

Questions and Answers About Knee Problems: NIAMS (Excerpt)

Someone who has arthritis of the knee may experience pain, swelling, and a decrease in knee motion. A common symptom is morning stiffness that lessens as the person moves around. Sometimes the joint locks or clicks when the knee is bent and straightened, but these signs may occur in other knee disorders as well. The doctor may confirm the diagnosis by performing a physical examination and examining x rays, which typically show a loss of joint space. Blood tests may be helpful for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, but other tests may be needed too. Analyzing fluid from the knee joint may be helpful in diagnosing some kinds of arthritis. The doctor may use arthroscopy to directly see damage to cartilage, tendons, and ligaments and to confirm a diagnosis, but arthroscopy is usually done only if a repair procedure is to be performed. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Knee Problems: NIAMS)

Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases: NIAMS (Excerpt)

Common Symptoms of Arthritis

  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Stiffness around the joints that lasts for at least 1 hour in the early morning
  • Constant or recurring pain or tenderness in a joint
  • Difficulty using or moving a joint normally
  • Warmth and redness in a joint
(Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases: NIAMS)

Arthritis Advice -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

Arthritis causes pain and loss of movement. It can affect joints in any part of the body. Arthritis is usually chronic, meaning it can occur over a long period of time. The more serious forms can cause swelling, warmth, redness, and pain. The three most common kinds of arthritis in older people are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. (Source: excerpt from Arthritis Advice -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Arthritis Advice -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

Common Warning Signs of Arthritis

  • Swelling in one or more joint(s)
  • Morning stiffness lasting 30 minutes or longer
  • Joint pain or tenderness that is constant or that comes and goes
  • Not being able to move a joint in the normal way
  • Redness or warmth in a joint
  • Weight loss, fever, or weakness and joint pain that canít be explained
(Source: excerpt from Arthritis Advice -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Arthritis as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of Arthritis as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Arthritis.

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Arthritis:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Arthritis. This signs and symptoms information for Arthritis has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Arthritis signs or Arthritis symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Arthritis may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Arthritis symptoms.


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