Early warning symptoms for arthritis include muscle stiffness in the morning, pain going up the stairs and sudden severe pain in the big toe, according to Caring.com. Other possible early symptoms include pain that interferes with sleep, fatigue and flu-like symptoms.
Another common warning sign for arthritis is having achy hands that become more difficult to use, notes Caring.com. This includes not being able to hold a fork and knife, trouble buttoning a shirt or tying shoelaces, or losing fine motor skills. Typing on a keyboard, turning a key in a lock and pressing numbers on a phone become difficult when arthritis develops. The hand and finger joints also become red and warm to the touch.
Some symptoms of arthritis vary based on the type of arthritis, says WebMD. With osteoarthritis, the first symptoms are stiffness that starts mild and gets worse over time. Joint pain is also common wit h his type of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation, stiffness and swelling in the joints, particularly the fingers. Infectious arthritis causes tenderness of the joints, joint inflammation, fever and chills.
If the pain is accompanied by a fever, the pain comes on quickly and severely. If there is extreme redness and tenderness near a joint, call a doctor, says WebMD.