Arthritis is a complex disease and in fact there are one hundred plus forms. However, two represent by far the main ones: rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. We'll just talk about these two for now. They are quite different as you will see.
Osteoarthritis is often called degenerative arthritis which is a good name as it is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage between the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an auto immune disease, so is completely different.
Here's a list to see if you have any or just one rheumatoid arthritis symptom?
1. Joint pain on both sides of the body
2. Inflammation and swelling of joints - particularly in the hands and the knees
3. Aches and pains in your joints, again the hands and knees are particularly affected
4. Stiffness in the morning that often lasts more than hour
5. Weak muscles due to stiff joints and less activity
6. Severe fatigue - tired all the time, everything is just too much
7. Generally feeling unwell, even nauseous; possible weight loss
If one or more of these symptoms affect you, then the first step would be to go and see your doctor and talk to him. He will examine you thoroughly and will probably recommend a blood test. There is a particular blood test that can determine whether you have rheumatism or not - it's call the rheumatoid factor. Maybe your doctor will also recommend you have an x-ray done to find out what damage there is to your joints or your cartilage.
If these tests are positive, then there are many options you can take. Although at the present time there is no known cure for arthritis, there are lots of options as far as pain relief is concerned. In fact rheumatism affects people in very different ways because it is an auto immune disease and everyone's body reacts differently.
They key here is to stay true to yourself. If you really don't want to have medication, then try natural remedies. There are so many ways to relief pain naturally and supplements to help hinder the degeneration of the joints and cartilage. Even acupuncture can help. Choose what is right for you. The same applies if you want to take a purely scientific approach . Your doctor will be happy to prescribe medication. If they don't work, go back and try again until you find something that relieves your pain.
The first step is to see if you have any of the rheumatoid arthritis symptom and if so, stay positive. Many many people live well and manage their disease admirably.