The symptoms of arthritis you experience will vary depending on the type you have.
This is why it’s important to have an accurate diagnosis if you have:
- joint pain, tenderness and stiffness
- inflammation in and around the joints
- restricted movement of the joints
- warm, red skin over the affected joint
- weakness and muscle wasting
Should I see a doctor?
It’s common to experience aches and pains in your muscles and joints from time to time, particularly if you take part in unusual or strenuous physical activities. So how can you distinguish the early signs of arthritis from normal pain and stiffness? And how do you know when you should see your doctor about your symptoms? If you experience swelling or stiffness, or if it becomes painful to squeeze your joints, you need to consult your doctor. The earlier you get diagnosed, the better the outcome.
Here are some more factors you should consider before seeing a healthcare professional.
Persistence of symptoms
- How and when did the pain start?
- If the pain developed after unusual exercise or activity you may have just overdone it a bit, and the pain should ease within a few days.
- Seek advice if the pain isn’t linked to an injury or if the pain persists.
Swelling of joints
- If a joint becomes swollen, and isn’t linked to an injury, seek advice.
- This is particularly true if you’re unwell or have a fever.
Effects on your daily life
- Seek advice if you’re unable to do everyday tasks due to joint or muscle pain.
- If you’ve lifted something heavy and hurt your back, for example, take some painkillers, apply some heat and try to stay active. If the pain doesn’t ease after a day or so, seek advice.