Do I Have Arthritis?

Arthritis Explained

Lots of people think they might have arthritis, but for some reason they never discuss it with their doctors. Many older people accept joint pain as a part of aging that can’t be avoided. They don’t talk to their doctor because they assume nothing can be done about it. Myths, like those, can pass from generation to generation, even though they aren’t true. And younger people with joint pain, swelling or stiffness might not even consider arthritis. They would be surprised to learn that people of any age can get arthritis, even children.

Arthritis can start in many ways, and can be difficult to recognize. It can come on slowly and be mild, or it can start suddenly and cause intense pain that surges within a few hours. The signs and symptoms can come and go over time. It might cause the classic issues of joint pain, swelling and stiffness, or it may first cause health problems that seem unrelated, like fatigue or a rash. Early signs of arthritis might be mistaken for an injury or the result of “too much” activity.