Mary Alexander: Hello! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I am talking about arthritis, and the symptoms associated with the various forms of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. They can also range from mild to severe. Usually joints affected by osteoarthritis ache will become painful or stiff first thing in the morning or during or after use. Some lifestyle issues that can contribute to osteoarthritis include excess weight, injury or over-use.
Joints may also be stiff after periods of inactivity, therefore it's important to remain physically active despite any initial discomfort you may feel. Exercise keeps joints moving which helps them stay lubricated. It also builds strength in the muscles surrounding the affected joint, so they can support it. The Arthritis Foundation recommends three kinds of exercise, flexibility, endurance or aerobic and strengthening.
Rheumatoid Arthritis also called RA is different from Osteoarthritis. RA affects body parts besides joints such as your eyes, mouth and lungs. With RA, your joints may feel warm to the touch and you might notice a decreased range of motion as well as inflammation, swelling and pain in the areas around the affected joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is symmetrical, meaning, if a joint on one side of your body is affected; the corresponding joint on the other side of your body is also involved, because the inflammation is systemic. You are likely to feel fatigued and may become anemic, lose your appetite and run a low-grade fever.
Fibromyalgia, which affects up to 6 million Americans causes not only pain around the joints but also tenderness in muscles and nerves, as well as sleep problems that lead to symptoms of severe fatigue.
The widespread pain and severe fatigue can disrupt the ability to function at full capacity on a daily basis. Altered function of the central nervous system is thought to be a possible cause. With Fibromyalgia, you may experience signs and symptoms that are seemingly unrelated to Fibromyalgia, such as chronic stomachaches or headaches.
Fibromyalgia can mimic or even overlap many other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis or sleep apnea.
The Arthritis Foundation, the only national not-for-profit organization that supports more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, offers information and tools on their website at arthritis.
You can also learn more by checking out other videos on arthritis including diagnosis and when to see a doctor.