The earlier an arthritis diagnosis is made, the sooner the right type of treatment can begin. This could help stop further, more damaging, aches and pains down the line – if you fulfil the following criteria. Versus Arthritis advises people to take notice when painful symptoms emerge. If the pain is present after exercise or activity, it’s possible you could have overdone it.
However, if the pain doesn’t ease within a few days, this could be the first clue that it might be arthritis.
It’s helpful if you note down how and when the pain started, and whether the joint has become swollen – this is the second factor to consider.
Swollen joints are a key element of arthritis; if the joint becomes red and warm, it could be indicative of rheumatoid arthritis – an inflammatory autoimmune disease.
The third and final factor to consider is the effects the painful joint has on your daily life.
READ MORE: Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: Nodules under your skin are a visual clue
Treatment for arthritis might include medication, such as painkillers.
In addition, exercise is highly recommended, although it may feel uneasy in the moment.
Exercising has numerous benefits such as:
- Stronger muscles to better support the joint
- Supple joints (i.e. less stiff)
- Maintain range of movement
- Improve overall health and fitness
- Help to maintain a healthy weight
- Release of endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers
- Good sleep
Low-impact exercise is usually best, such as cycling, brisk walking, yoga, T’ai Chi, pilates and swimming.
The main types of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
The sooner the notion of arthritis is raised to your GP, the quicker an appropriate diagnosis can be made.
Following on from this, a tailored treatment plan can be implemented, which may also include dietary changes.
If this is the case for you, your GP might refer you to a dietician.