Red Flags to Warn You of Arthritis

There are over 100 different types of arthritis, and they all have unique symptoms. There are some signs of arthritis, however, that are consistent and seen in nearly all forms of the disease. By paying attention to these signals and getting the care you need from a rheumatologist, orthopedist, or spine hospital , you may be able to slow the damage to your joints and minimize your discomfort. If you experience these red flags that indicate arthritis, consider making an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis.


Joint stiffness is a common indicator of arthritis. The type and timing of your stiffness can tell your doctor a lot about the kind of arthritis you have. For instance, stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis typically persists longer than other forms and appears in joints on both sides of the body, while osteoarthritis stiffness usually decreases soon after movement and only affects one side. Stiffness is usually at its worst with arthritis first thing in the morning or after sitting for an extended period.


Inflammation around joints that are affected by arthritis often causes visible swelling. The swelling can occur in one or more joints at the same time, and it may come and go. However, it is possible to have arthritis in joints that don’t swell, even if you have other affected joints that do become swollen. Swelling is particularly common in arthritic joints of the hands, feet, and ankles.


For some people with arthritis, pain is a secondary symptom to stiffness and swelling, while for others, it is the focal point. Depending on the extent of the joint damage, some people with arthritis feel their bones rubbing against each other. As with stiffness, the location and type of pain you experience can help your doctor diagnose the type of arthritis you have.

At West Hills Hospital, our Total Joint Program , diagnostic imaging, and rehabilitation services give our patients access to comprehensive arthritis care to increase mobility and control discomfort. Call us today at (818) 676-4321 for a referral or more information about our spine hospital in West Hills. You can also learn about our emergency care, burn center, cancer care, and other comprehensive services.

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