If you have been dealing with joint pain, you might be wondering if you have arthritis. Arthritis is more common than many people realize, which is why it is important to understand what arthritis is. Here are some things that you need to know.
Why Do You Get Arthritis?
Arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body is attacking itself. In the case of arthritis, the immune system thinks that the joints are "non-self" and so it sends blood cells and antibodies to the joints to get rid of them. Of course you need your joints, so it isn't helpful or good for this to happen. The result is hurt and damaged joints, as well as a great deal of pain.
People of all ages can get arthritis. There are children who get something called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and there are also adults and older individuals who can get arthritis. There are many different forms, such as osteoporosis, and rheumatoid, and it can attack a variety of joints. Many people feel it in their knees, while other people feel it in their shoulders, knuckles, ankles, and so forth.
What Does Arthritis Feel Like?
Knowing what arthritis feels like is very important. The main thing that people notice is pain and swelling in the joints. However, this pain is different than feeling like you have twisted or strained your ankle, neck, or shoulder. Instead, as you move the joint throughout the day it will feel better. It is in the morning or after sitting for a long time that you will experience the pain the most. This is because while the joint is not being used, the body is attacking it, so when you get up in the morning or after a long period of sitting you will feel serious aching pain until it can get moving again.
How Do You Diagnose Arthritis?
Arthritis can be confirmed by doctors who offer arthritis laboratory services. The first way to do it is through blood tests. These tests will show if there are antibodies in the blood. If they detect specific antibodies relating to arthritis, it will be assumed that you have it. Additionally, you can get tests like an MRI or scans of the bones to determine if the bone and joint density is healthy. After you receive the diagnosis, the doctor will talk to you about treatment options and medication.