Joint pain is the standard symptom of having rheumatoid arthritis. If you know someone who is suffering from intense joint pains, then one of the things that races to mind are arthritis. However, truth be told, joint pain is the hallmark symptom of many other conditions. These include the likes of:
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus
- Crystal arthritis or Gout
All of the above-mentioned ailments and rheumatology issues are related to joint inflammation, fatigue, and fever; much like rheumatoid arthritis. A professional will need to perform a differential diagnosis, to be able to distinguish one musculoskeletal disorder from the other. This process of differential diagnosis can take from upward of several weeks to months to zero down on. It will need several lab tests to be performed and visits to specialists.
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Different From Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia can cause muscular pain much in the same way as rheumatoid arthritis, which includes physical fatigue. Similar to rheumatoid arthritis, the medical condition named fibromyalgia is also common amidst women. What the exact cause of it, is still up for question. However, fibromyalgia does not cause swelling, and it causes the areas of pain to be tender. These are often called as tender points. Fibromyalgia is not a degenerative condition This is because it neither causes the joint to erode nor does it cause any deformity.
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Different From Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis occurs when the padding in between the joints breaks down. This wearing down of the padding or the cartilage can occur gradually over several decades. The result is the bones grinding against one another. It is a degenerative joint disease. Osteoporosis is common among all other forms of arthritis. Osteoporosis is characterized by joint pain, and it gets worse after intervals of inactivity. The joint feels rigid and the range of motion is also restricted. The affected joint can get swollen and feel hot to touch, due to the inflammation.
However, the inflammation in the case of osteoporosis is mild and is less notable than that which is seen in rheumatoid arthritis. This is because unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis is not a body-wide autoimmune disease. It doesn’t come with flu-like symptoms.
The word of advice would be to consult a doctor. They can walk you through the procedure and diagnose your condition accurately. In the meantime, proper low impact exercise and healthy eating contributes to better health and naturally reduces inflammation.