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Could it Be Arthritis? Understanding Your Aches and Pains

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Although I know several individuals who experience arthritis pain on a daily basis, it is difficult for me to fully comprehend the depth of the pain and discomfort they are enduring. Sure, I have my occasional aches and pains and things that go “bump” in the night, but I realize that I frequently take my good health for granted, so I decided to pursue a bit of research to give myself a better understanding of what some of my friends and family members have to deal with on a regular basis.

I recall being in the ninth grade and associating with a friendly young girl about my age who had crooked fingers and who complained of frequent pain in that regard. When I inquired of her what was wrong one day, she confided in me that she had arthritis. “Wow!” I thought to myself, as I was certain that arthritis was a disease only attributable to the elderly, like my grandmother. Sadly, it afflicts so many people of varying ages, and I believe it is important to understand what they are experiencing.

Perhaps you are feeling stiffness in your hips, knees, hands and fingers and are beginning to wonder if you have arthritis. How do you know? Should you just assume that such joint pain and tenderness is the direct result of this disease? Is your pain an occasional event or is it more chronic in nature, a daily battle that seems to find you on the defeated end?

Pain in and of itself is just that – pain, and when you are in the eye of that storm, the last thing you can do is accurately articulate the type of pain it is. However, when you visit with your doctor about your aches and pains, she will need a specific explanation so that she can accurately assess your condition. Is your pain consistent and greatly affecting your lifestyle, or is it just an occasional rumbling that temporarily disrupts your day?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.