What are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

Arthritis symptoms take many different forms, and the pain you may experience is unique to you.

Man experiencing arthritis symptoms

It can be tempting to brush off aches and pains as a normal part of life—just a part of getting older, right? But no matter your age, you shouldn’t ignore pain. Arthritis can strike at any stage in life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 100 types of arthritis, all with different symptoms.1 However, some of the most common symptoms apply to several different types of arthritis, including two of the most common ones—osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Learn more about these symptoms so you can find a path to relief.

Common Arthritis Symptoms & Signs2,3,4

  • Pain or aching at or around the joint that typically worsens as the day goes on.
  • Stiffness that tends to be worse in the morning.
  • Swelling and redness at or around the joint.
  • Decreased range of motion in the affected area.

The symptoms of arthritis not only vary from type to type—they can also vary from person to person.2 Two people with the same type of arthritis might feel different types of pain. Learn more about the risk factors of developing arthritis, so you can be better prepared to deal with them and keep moving.

RA and OA symptoms can be easily confused but there are some ways to differentiate between these two types. RA symptoms usually have a rapid onset, whereas OA symptoms are more likely to worsen over time. With RA, symptoms tend to appear on both sides of the body, while OA symptoms may affect joints on one side of the body worse than the other. And while morning stiffness in RA patients will usually last longer than 30 minutes, OA patients typically experience morning stiffness for less than a half hour.

Arthritis Risk factors5

  • Genetics: Some types of arthritis can be genetic, so if your parents or siblings have the condition, you may be at a higher risk.
  • Age: The older you get, the more risk you have of developing arthritis. On the flipside, younger people with joint pain, swelling or stiffness might not even consider arthritis, but you can get arthritis during every stage of life—including young adulthood.
  • Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop certain types of arthritis, including OA and RA.
  • Previous injury: If you have ever injured a joint badly enough, you could develop OA in that area later in life.
  • Obesity: Excess weight puts stress on joints and can put you at a higher risk of developing arthritis.

Pain Isn’t Just Physical, It’s Emotional Too

While painful warning signals are sent through your body, the emotional impact shouldn’t be overlooked. Arthritis flare-ups can get so bad that they force you to cancel plans with loved ones. This stress may affect your social life and lower your overall quality of life, too. While these are understandable emotions, they’ve also been shown to make pain harder to handle.5 Add uncertainty over when arthritis pain will return, and depression can kick in—but not all is doom and gloom. Once you identify these symptoms, you can find better ways to alleviate pain and get moving again. We’re here to help you along every step of the way.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/faqs.htm#symptoms
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/faqs.htm#symptoms
  3. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2597216/
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/risk-factors.htm
  5. Mayo Clinic. Web. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/leg-swelling/basics/causes/sym-20050910

Related Articles

Woman holding elbow

What Are the Causes of Arthritis?

You may be experiencing arthritis for a number of reasons. No matter what may have caused your discomfort, there is a path to relief for you.

Read More
Woman working out

The Different Types of Arthritis

From osteoarthritis to rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis—every type of arthritis can impact the quality of life in people of all ages.

Read More

Voltaren Arthritis Pain Relieving Gel Package
Use as directed.
Prescription Voltaren Gel packaging only.

Feel the Joy of Movement

Voltaren targets pain directly at the source to deliver nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine for powerful arthritis pain relief.