Arthritis and When to Make an Appointment With Your Doctor
Over 50 million Americans have arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. The first steps in conquering arthritis are learning the facts, understanding your condition and knowing that help is by your side. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time.
If you are having joint symptoms that cause concern, there are good reasons to see a doctor for an evaluation and diagnosis.
Watch for these potential signs and symptoms of arthritis:
• Pain, swelling, or stiffness in one or more joints
• Joints that are red or warm to the touch
• Joint tenderness or stiffness
• Difficulty moving a joint or doing daily activities
• Joint symptoms that cause you concern
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of the following:
• Joint symptoms that last three days or more
• Several episodes of joint symptoms within a month