Symptoms of joint damage
Symptoms of joint pain often develop slowly and worsen over time. As a joint moves, cartilage deteriorates over time and its smooth surface become rough. Cartilage wears down so that bone rubs on bone and causes pain and damage to the bones themselves. Sometimes new bone grows along the side of existing bones, creating bone spurs that are painful.
Symptoms that affect the jaw, shoulder, elbows, wrists or ankles are often a result of injury or unusual stress on a joint. More commonly, symptoms of joint problems affect the hands, hips, knees and spine. Signs and symptoms of all types of joint damage include:
Joint damage can tremendously alter lifestyle and/or quality of life, especially over time. This is because most types of arthritis are degenerative diseases that worsen over time. In fact, arthritis and joint damage can eventually cause significant disability. Joint pain and stiffness may even become severe enough to make each day difficult or prevent work.
When to seek help
If you experience swelling or stiffness in the joints that lasts for more than two weeks, make an appointment with your doctor. Additionally, consult a doctor if:
The production, maintenance, and breakdown of cartilage as well as bone changes are now viewed a series of events. If you suspect that you are experiencing joint damage, speak to a doctor about where you are in the cycle. What can you expect when you make an office visit? Read on for more information about tests for the joints here.
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