7 Signs You Have Inflammation In Your Joints

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Keeping your joints healthy and in good shape is so essential. When there's inflammation in the joints it can make basic things like sitting, walking, or holding something pretty painful. Learning the signs of joint inflammation is important so you can spot the symptoms right away and get the treatment that you need.

"Inflammation in the joints can have many causes, some of which are trauma, infection, and arthritis (which, by the way means inflamed joint)," Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM, FACFAS, board certified podiatrist, tells Bustle. "Inflammation can also be chronic, as in the case of certain types of arthritis, or acute as in a sprained ankle."

Although arthritis isn't responsible for every case of inflamed joints, it does affect a lot of people. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it's the leading cause of disability among adults in the country. Over 50 million adults are diagnosed, and it's a lot more common in women than it is in men. It's also not limited to the elderly. Anyone of any age, even children, can get arthritis.

Because your joints are so important to your everyday life, it's vital to be aware of when things are looking and feeling off. Here are some signs you may have inflammation in your joints, according to experts.

1. Pain

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"Internal inflammation is invisible, but the pain is not," licensed acupunturist, Ani Baran, L.Ac of New Jersey Acupuncture Center, tells Bustle. "This is typically the case with joint inflammation." If you're suffering from, osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis, aging joints and a tearing or declining cartilage can cause pain, soreness, or a deep ache, during movement.

2. Swelling

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Swelling is another common sign of inflammation. "The joint produces fluid in response to the damage to the cartilage surfaces," Barbara Bergin, MD, board certified orthopedic surgeon, tells Bustle. "Swelling can also be the result of an injury, in which case the joint would be full of blood."

3. Spongy Feeling Joints

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Due to swelling, Dr. Terry Wahls, MD, creator of The Wahls Protocol, tells Bustle, there may be "bogginess or sponginess when the joint is gently squeezed." This is common in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease.

4. Stiffness

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Once your joints begin to swell, you may notice some stiffness. "The swollen joint is painful, and the body's reaction is to stiffen up in a natural way," Dr. Bergin says. "It's actually splinting the joint so it won't move."

5. Redness

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Redness isn't as common in a joint that's swollen due to osteoarthritis. But according to Dr. Bergin, it can occur if the inflammation was due to an infection or gout.

6. Warmth

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"As a result of increased circulation, which is the body's natural way of dealing with inflammed joints, the surrounding tissues can often feel warm," Dr. Bergin says. If this happens, there's no need to be alarmed. It's not one of the more dangerous symptoms. Inflammation due to bacteria can feel the warmest, but she says all joints affected by arthritis can also feel a slight temperature change.

7. Slow Movement After Waking Up In The Morning

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One of the key signs of inflammation in your joints is stiffness in the morning right after waking up. "Inflammation settles in while you sleep and makes movement slower in the morning," Dr. Thanu Jey, clinical director of the Yorkville Sports Medicine Clinic, tells Bustle. Stiffness and pain in the morning, especially in the hands, can be signs of arthritis.

Overall, it's so important to keep these signs and symptoms in mind. As Dr. Jey says, joint inflammation will eventual lead to arthritic changes and functional problems if it's not treated. Since not all cases of joint inflammation are due to one particular thing, it's important to talk to your doctor about the right treatment plan for you.