What Does Arthritis Feel Like? An In-Depth Look At Symptoms.

Jun 15, 2022 | Blog

Most people know about arthritis as a condition that primarily affects an older population. However, that isn’t strictly true! If you’re wondering, “what does arthritis feel like” you’re in a great position to learn more about the symptoms of arthritis that can develop over time.

This article will talk about what arthritis is, how it occurs, and what it feels like. We’ll also cover some of the symptoms of arthritis that you should look out for and let you know when you
should visit a doctor.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that results in joint swelling, inflammation, and tenderness. Primarily, it results in pain, immobility, and stiffness in the joints that can become worse with certain risk factors:

  • Age. This is the primary risk factor that increases your risk of developing arthritis.
  • Genetic history. If your parents or relatives have arthritis, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.
  • Sex. While men are more likely to develop gout (a type of arthritis,) women more commonly see symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity. Greater body weight puts you at risk of developing arthritis due to the added stress and strain on joints such as the hips, spine, knees, and ankles.

Arthritis can make daily life very difficult, especially for patients with severe arthritis affecting their limbs.

Types of Arthritis

There are several different types of arthritis, with the most common being rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

In rheumatoid arthritis, your body’s immune system begins to attack the joint tissues, causing them to become inflamed and damaged. On the other hand, osteoarthritis occurs due to joint cartilage breaking down. Joint cartilage allows bones to move freely and without grinding against each other; without it, the joints begin to stiffen and become painful.

Another type of arthritis is gout, which results from excess uric acid in the bloodstream, often due to liver damage or other factors.

What Does Arthritis Feel Like?

Arthritis can make it feel like there is an issue within your joints. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the joints become inflamed, making them feel painful. You may have a throbbing ache, stiffness, and even a feeling of heat. Also, you may feel sleepy, tired, and have weakness in the muscles. The symptoms may vary depending on the individual patient, and they may flare up or disappear from time to time.

Osteoarthritis can feel like a “mechanical” issue in your joints, with joints feeling stiff, creaky, or even like they are grinding together instead of moving smoothly. While osteoarthritis symptoms are not as severe as those of rheumatoid arthritis, you may feel pain during daily activities like walking or climbing stairs. Your local climate may also affect your symptoms.


The best way to determine your arthritic symptoms is to visit a doctor because the symptoms are intermittent and vary based on the individual. A doctor specializing in joint disorders is a rheumatologist, and they possess the expertise necessary to help you improve your quality of life living with arthritis.

Rheumatology Clinic of Houston is dedicated specifically to treating arthritic and rheumatic diseases under the care and guidance of Dr. Rehman, a professional rheumatologist in Tomball, TX. We provide relief for patients with arthritis using proper treatment protocols and careful diagnoses.

To schedule an appointment with us, please call (832) 237-8585.