Arthritis symptoms: Seven signs YOU could be suffering | Health | Life & Style

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Arthritis symptoms: there are numerous signs

It’s often associated with the elderly, but both men and women can start to develop arthritis symptoms from their 40s, and thousands of even younger people are diagnosed each year too.

There are around 200 types of the disease, which causes agonising inflammation and stiffness in the joints, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms.

Osteoarthritis – also known as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis – is caused when the cartilage lining of the joint fails to repair, pushing tendons and ligaments to work harder and triggering swelling and rubbing on the bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when the body’s immune system inflames particular joints, affects three times as many women as men and there are 20,000 new cases every year.

But any type of arthritis can have a devastating impact on people’s lives – 68% of sufferers have reported depression when the discomfort is at its worst, and a survey released last month by Arthritis Research UK found that 600,000 sufferers miss out on work.

The Arthritis Foundation stresses that it’s not a disease of old age, and that spotting it early is key to effective treatment.

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Painful signs: there are several main symptoms


While it’s more likely in those who are overweight, smoke, eat a poor diet, have injured a joint or have a family history of the disease, arthritis can affect anyone.


While it’s more likely in those who are overweight, smoke, eat a poor diet, have injured a joint or have a family history of the disease, arthritis can affect anyone.

Keep an eye out for these seven main symptoms:

Painful joints

This is the most common indicator that you could have arthritis, however the level of discomfort varies from one person to the next.

Soreness can be felt in any joint in the body, but according to the NHS rheumatoid arthritis normally begins in the hands and feet, and osteoarthritis in the knees, hips and hands.

Restricted movement

You may start to notice that you can’t move particular joints as well – for instance, if arthritis is in your hands you may struggle to bend them to form a fist. 

The NHS explains that this stiffness can be particularly apparent when you wake up in the morning, or after other periods of inactivity, and will disappear within 30 minutes with osteoarthritis, but may take longer to wear off if rheumatoid arthritis.

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Unknown signs: losing lots of muscle is an indicator

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