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man holding painful wrist

Early Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis, in the simplest of terms, is inflammation of the joints that causes pain and stiffness. While we often associate arthritis with elderly people, it is a disease that can affect people of all ages. There are also different types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Here’s how to tell if your joint pain may actually be a symptom of arthritis:

Morning Stiffness

An early sign of arthritis is prolonged stiffness in the morning. If the stiffness lasts for just a few minutes, it’s probably a symptom of early-onset arthritis that will worsen over time. 

But, if it lasts for many hours, it’s usually a symptom of inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Many people who have arthritis have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning or even struggle putting on clothes. 

Joint Stiffness and Pain

Joint stiffness and joint paint usually go hand in hand and they’re a common early symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Usually, this stiffness begins in the hands and fingers, but it can spread to other joints in the body.


Some types of arthritis can cause joints to turn red and swell up. These are often known as flare-ups and they can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.