Joint Problems


Symptoms and Warning Signs

The following are warning signs that you may be developing arthritis:

  • Pain, swelling, or tenderness in one or more joints
  • Cracking or crunching sounds with movement
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth or redness in the joints
  • Bony knobs that appear on the joints of the fingers 

There are additional signs that are particular to rheumatoid arthritis, such as:

  • Anemia 
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Inflammation in other places, such as blood vessels or the lining of the lungs or the heart
  • Joints on both sides of the body affected at the same time (for example, both ankles or both wrists)
  • General fatigue, fevers, feeling sick, weight loss—especially when it starts in an older person 

Gout episodes can be accompanied by a fever, severe pain, swelling, and redness.  Gout attacks often begin at night. 

Symptoms of soft tissue joint conditions include:

  • Swelling (bursitis)
  • Aching or pain in the affected area, usually worsening with exercise, reaching, or at night, making it hard to sleep on the painful side (rotator cuff tear, frozen shoulder, tendonitis)
  • Stiffness or reduced range of motion
  • Tenderness to the touch in the joint 

If you have fibromyalgia, you may feel pain and tenderness in many muscles all over your body. You may also have sleep problems and general feelings of weakness and fatigue.


Last Updated June 2020