What Are 5 Symptoms of Arthritis?

Reviewed on 7/16/2022
Woman with arthritis grabbing her wrist
The main arthritis symptoms include joint pain/tenderness, joint stiffness, joint swelling, joint redness/warmth, limited joint movement/decreased range of motion or flexibility in the joints.

Arthritis is an umbrella term for over 100 different conditions that involve inflammation of any part of a joint, including the joint lining (synovium), cartilage, bones, and supporting tissues. Arthritis can affect one, a few, or many joints throughout the body.

The most common types of arthritis include:

  • Osteoarthritis
    • The most common type of arthritis
    • Tends to develop with age
    • A chronic condition in which the cartilage between bones that cushions the joints wears down and as it does, the bones rub against each other causing pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced joint motion
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
    • A chronic autoimmune condition characterized by persistent joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
    • Can also affect the heart, lungs, skin, and eyes
    • Unlike some other forms of arthritis, it affects both sides of the body
  • Psoriatic arthritis
    • An inflammatory type of arthritis that can occur in people with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin condition that causes fast skin cell growth and renewal
    • Commonly occurs in large joints of the lower extremities such as the knees and ankles but can affect any joint

Other types of arthritis include: 

Joint symptoms are the main symptom of most types of arthritis. Five common symptoms of arthritis include: 

  • Joint pain/tenderness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint swelling 
  • Joint redness/warmth
  • Limited joint movement/decreased range of motion or flexibility in the joints

Depending on the type of arthritis, other symptoms that may accompany joint symptoms include: 

How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?

Arthritis is diagnosed with a medical history and physical examination, along with laboratory and imaging tests.

Tests used to diagnose arthritis include: 

  • Blood tests
    • Rheumatoid factor (RF) 
    • Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) 
    • Antinuclear antibody (ANA) for SLE
  • Arthrocentesis (also called joint aspiration or joint tap)
  • X-rays (also used to monitor changes in the joint over time)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound

What Is the Treatment for Arthritis?

Treatments for arthritis include:

Reviewed on 7/16/2022

Image source: iStock Images