Early symptoms

What are the early symptoms of inflammatory arthritis?

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Dr. Samuel Whittle
Rheumatologist

One of the really important early symptoms is of early morning stiffness, where people wake up in the morning and they find it difficult to make a fist or get themselves moving. And if this lasts for more than half an hour or an hour, this is often very suggestive that there’s inflammation in the joints.

Linda Bradbury
Nurse Practitioner, Rheumatology

A very common sign is morning stiffness so you often get out of bed and feel very sore and stiff first thing in the morning and it can take a good few minutes or up to hours to actually get better to be able to get moving. Often you’ll find that a hot shower first thing in the morning will help to get you loosened up and feel a bit better. And as the day goes on that pain and stiffness will usually wear off.

Dr. Mona Marabani
Rheumatologist

When we think of inflammation in joints, we think of pain and swelling and stiffness, so those are the three key markers of inflammatory arthritis. Now in that category the kind of inflammation can affect the joints of the arms and legs or can affect the spine, and there are further subdivisions that we can make in terms of making a precise diagnosis. But the important thing for people to know is if you’ve got painful and swollen and stiff joints and it goes on for any longer than a couple of weeks, that’s a signal you should go and get some help and speak to your GP as soon as you can.

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