Joint Pain in Young Adults

Joint pain and stiffness are the first symptoms of rheumatism but so are many other diseases. Learn how to differentiate ailments.

In rheumatic diseases, there is usually swelling in the small joints. In the morning there is stiffness especially in the joints or spine of the feet or fingers. However, the main symptom is pain: about 70 percent of those diagnosed with rheumatic disease first seek medical attention for joint pain.

Non-rheumatic diseases can also cause general inflammation in the body and stiffness in the joints. Similar symptoms may include metabolic diseases such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. The rigidity that comes as a symptom of rheumatism is distinguished by the fact that it feels especially after rest. In ankylosing spondylitis, pain and stiffness awaken as early as night. Back symptoms are relieved when you move out of bed.

“Rheumatoid arthritis can also be caused by a general symptom, such as warmth, weight loss or a certain type of rash, ” says Docent 

Uncommon symptoms include swelling of the whole face, arm or leg. Ulcers can also occur in the mucous membranes of the mouth or genitals.

My grandmother had rheumatism. Can I get it too?

The mechanisms of rheumatism are not well known, and there are differing views on its causes. Especially those working with natural products and supplements claim to have underlying deficiencies that improve with the right kind of nutrition and supplements.

The onset of rheumatism is a disrupted immunological process in the body, which is affected by many factors, Luosu says.

Studies have found factors that increase the risk of the disease. For example, genetic inheritance works just like the onset of diabetes or cancer.

-If a person with a suitable family background is exposed to harmful environmental factors, an immunological process can start in his or her body, which leads to the onset of rheumatism, Luosu explains.

Tobacco smoke and some chemicals increase the risk of getting sick. Hairdressers nowadays wear protective gloves when applying hair dyes, as whitening hair dye chemicals in particular predispose to rheumatoid arthritis. Asphalt workers have no protection and are still 50 times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis – probably precisely because of the chemicals.

Severe stress also increases the risk of rheumatism. Lake Luosu describes that stress in excess of tolerance makes “holes in the body’s protective wall” that intact would prevent pathogens like rheumatism from getting through, but in severe stress, pathogens get in through those “holes” and can thus trigger disease.

– Sometimes stress accelerates the onset of emerging diseases, Luosujärvi says.

A friend experienced rheumatoid arthritis after the flu. Why?

Previously acquired infections may be associated with the onset of rheumatism or other autoimmune disease. Oral health also affects whether viruses and bacteria enter the body from inflamed mucous membranes.

Of the hormones, the female hormone in particular clearly has an effect on the onset of the disease, although the exact mechanism is not yet known. Vitamin D deficiency can also expose you.

Coincidence also has a place in the process: an immunological reaction leading to the onset of rheumatism can be triggered, for example, by a Borrelia infection from a tick bite or damage from a car crash.

– All of these things are known to be associated with the onset of rheumatism. However, the exact genetic defect that directs some people’s bodies to react in this way is not yet known, Luosu states.

The rheumatism test was negative. Could it still be rheumatism?

It is a good idea to start the examination at the office of a general practitioner, even an occupational health doctor. After an accurate and careful observational clinical examination, blood tests are often taken. Rheumatism can lower hemoglobin. Lasko tells whether there has been inflammation in the body a couple of weeks ago. CRP again reveals whether the inflammation is fresh. Mild inflammation may not raise either value, while whining may both be elevated.

Blood tests are only part of the diagnosis. However, they give the doctor an indication of what form of disease it may be. For example, in SLE (Systemic Lupus) the count usually goes up but the CRP does not.

If there is swelling in the joint, the blood is also tested for classical rheumatoid factor (RF) or citrulline antibodies (CCP).

Rheumatoid factor is found in only two out of three people with rheumatoid arthritis. In some patients with arthritis, the result of any blood test is not abnormal.

– The most important thing in identifying rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical inflammation, ie there is swelling on both sides of the body in the same joints, Luosujärvi describes.

If the examinations cannot be accessed quickly, it is advisable to take pictures of the hot and reddening joints with a mobile phone camera. They can then be shown to a doctor. It may also be a good idea to keep a diary of occasional pain and arthritis, such as gout attacks. However, you should not get stuck filling out the symptom diary.

These are chronic diseases in which long-term symptoms and large lines are important. If the symptoms can be forgotten, they must be forgotten.

My joint pain was not rheumatism. I guess I still get help?

Sometimes there is no obvious cause for joint pain and even arthritis. Then we start to rule out even rarer causes. Dozens of disease titles can be found on rheumatic disease lists, and there are non-inflammatory rheumatic diseases among them. For example, fibromyalgia, considered by many to be rheumatic, is not considered an inflammatory rheumatic disease, but is a chronic pain syndrome. It is not treated with anti rheumatic drugs but with good fitness-building exercises and other pain management methods.

– An arthritis patient is not rejected even if the diagnosis is not made. The doctor will only do further tests. When the symptoms are followed by the same doctor, he and the patient learn to understand each other, Riitta  says.

Sometimes treatment is started before diagnosis if it appears that rheumatic disease may be developing. Then the onset of the disease can be prevented with a mild rheumatic drug such as Oxychlorine.

Read more: Rheumatoid arthritis – the most common inflammatory rheumatic disease, Current treatment recommendation


  • pain in the joints, even at night
  • symmetrical swelling of small joints
  • stiffness after rest in the joints or spine of the foot or fingers
  • warming
  • weight loss
  • rash
  • swelling of the face, arm or leg
  • ulcers in the mouth or genitals.

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