Joint arthritis is a progressive disease. At first, there may be a dull ache in the joint, especially after using it for a period of time. It is recurring pain, unlike occasional pain associated with overuse. Joints may feel stiff at first with mild pain. In some cases, people experience joint pain in the morning which improves over a couple of hours after moving around.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease, so joint pain is often accompanied by redness, swelling, and soreness in the joint. It usually attacks the joints on both sides of the body. Since RA impacts more than joints, you may also experience a general body ache and fatigue. Periods of inflammation come and go.
Osteoarthritis is also painful, especially after using the joint. The pain may or may not be noticeable in the morning but will worsen as the joint is used. There might be swelling, but it is likely due to irritated tissues in the joint. As the disease progresses, you may feel bones grating or the joint makes a popping sound.
If you are experiencing joint pain of any kind, the best thing to do is see a doctor for an evaluation. The sooner arthritis is managed, the more likely it can be controlled.