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5 Telltale Signs of Arthritis

5 Telltale Signs of Arthritis

More than 58 million Americans have arthritis, the medical term for progressive joint deterioration. Arthritic joint pain is no laughing matter.

Arthritis has the power to seriously limit your mobility and infiltrate every aspect of your life. In fact, it’s a leading cause of disability nationwide and right now, there’s no cure.

The good news is, you have lots of treatment options available to help you manage the condition, and Heritage Regenerative Medicine can help.

John Stavrakos, MS, MD is a leading pain management specialist in the greater Charlotte area in Weddington, North Carolina. He offers holistic arthritis therapies for adults of all ages, and he’s here to offer real solutions for real pain.

Recognizing the signs of arthritis

There are more than 100 different varieties of arthritis. Of all the types, osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are the most common.

OA is often nicknamed "wear-and-tear" arthritis. It develops when your joints start wearing down, usually due to age and overuse. RA, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition a condition where your own immune system attacks the soft tissue lining of your joints and causes arthritis.

No matter which type of arthritis you have, the symptoms are similar. The telltale signs of arthritis are:

1. Joint swelling

Bones, tendons, cartilage, and joint fluid all work together when your joints move. But if you have arthritis, the components of your joints break down.

This leads to a cascade of events where joint cartilage begins to deteriorate and the lubircating joint fluid becomes scarce. Bones can then begin to grind against each other, leading to more inflammation, pain and swelling. Swollen joints may be warm, red, and puffy-looking.

2. Joint pain

When joints get inflamed, they hurt. Pain is often the first noticeable sign of arthritis.

Arthritis pain feels different depending on the joint and the severity of your condition. It can range from a dull ache to a sharp burning sensation. You might notice that pain worsens with activity, when you first wake up in the morning, or even when the weather changes. 

3. Stiffness

Arthritic inflammation can make joints feel stiff and "locked up." You may not be able to bend and stretch like you once did, and stiffness may be worse after periods of rest or inactivity. 

4. Weakness

Along with stiffness, arthritis can lead to weakness in affected joints — particularly the joints in your hands and fingers. Hand arthritis can affect your grip strength, which means it’s harder to hold onto things and do certain tasks, like washing dishes or buttoning a shirt.

5. Limited range of motion

Arthritis limits your joint’s ability to function properly, and all the symptoms come together to limit your range of motion. Whether it’s pain, stiffness, weakness, or a combination of issues, arthritis can restrict your ability to accomplish your usual daily tasks.

Finding relief from arthritis symptoms

Dr. Stavrakos and our team understand the toll arthritis can take. That’s why we offer natural remedies for arthritis symptoms.

Along with rest, activity modifications, and physical therapy, we may recommend a range of alternative therapies to help manage your arthritis pain. Your options may include:

We’re dedicated to evaluating your arthritis treatment options and helping you find an effective combination that works for you. Schedule a consultation online or call our office at 704-368-4852 to get started.

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