Am I too young to have arthritis?
I'm not sure what is wrong with my hands, but I am 22 years old and for the past couple of years I've been having pain in my knuckles-only on a couple of fingers. It started with my middle finger on my right hand, then a few months later it started in on my index finger on my left hand too. It's the worst first thing when I wake up in the morning. It doesn't feel like the actual joint is swollen but it's more like there's a big bubble of air around my knuckle that's causing the skin around the knuckle to swell. It sometimes gets to the point where I can not bend my fingers to do normal everyday things like tie my shoes. It's too painful.
A friend of mine told me it may be carpal tunnel syndrome, because I knit a lot and use my hands for all kinds of crafts. But I've noticed that the amount of knitting I do does not worsen the condition at all. The only time my hands even hurt at all is during the winter time. The rest of the year they are fine. I have very poor blood circulation, and when it's cold outside, my hands are constantly frozen. This seems to make it even worse and causes my fingers to swell more.
I've also noticed that one of my ankles has been stiff since it turned colder and it hurts to walk sometimes and it's especially tight first thing in the morning.
I am planning to go to a doctor sometime within the next month or two (I don't have insurance right at the moment and I'm in the process of moving as well). I'm curious as to what kinds of treatments are given for arthritis as well, because I really do not like the idea of taking a bunch of different medications. Are there any natural treatments that would help the condition? Has anyone received accupuncture or other kinds of non-medication treatments for their arthritis? I really want to know as much as possible.
I'm just concerned because I always think of arthritis as being something that older people get as a part of the aging process. I'm sure there are plenty of young people who get arthritis, but are my symptoms indicative of arthritis or is it something else? Has anyone else experienced this? Any input would be appreciated.
Last edited by bijou11; 12-18-2005 at 10:04 AM.