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Orthopedics

Early Signs That Point To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that results in chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body. It affects the joints on both sides of the body, such as both wrists, both hands, and both knees. It can also affect the eyes, skin, lungs, blood, heart, or nerves.

Rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. For some, the symptoms like joint inflammation may develop gradually over several years; while it may be seen quickly in others. If the inflammation is ignored and left untreated, it may damage the cartilage, an elastic tissue that covers the end of the bones in a joint and also the bones themselves.

Here is a list of signs to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis in an early stage that helps in treating it before the condition gets worse.

Morning Stiffness

This is the most common and prominent sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Though it takes some time to loosen up the stiffness; if the stiffness lasts for few minutes, it is considered as a symptom of a degenerative form of arthritis. While the stiffness that lasts for several hours is a symptom of inflammatory arthritis. People with rheumatoid arthritis may also feel stiffness after being inactive for a long time such as napping or sitting.

Fatigue

People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis may experience chronic fatigue. The fatigue related to rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by abnormal, excessive exhaustion. It is not related to physical tiredness due to exercise or exertion. One who experiences fatigue due to rheumatoid arthritis cannot get relieved by sleep or rest.

Joint Stiffness

Though joint stiffness can also occur for other reasons, it is considered as one of the classic symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, stiffness can occur in one or more of the smaller joints at any time, regardless of being active or not. Mostly, joint stiffness begins in the hands. Though it starts on slowly, in some cases it can come suddenly and affect multiple joints over a course of few days.

Joint Pain

Joint tenderness or pain is often followed by joint stiffness during the movement or while at rest. The most common sites for pain are the joints in the fingers and wrists. People with rheumatoid arthritis may also experience chronic pain in their knees, feet, ankles or shoulders. The main reason behind the chronic joint pains in rheumatoid arthritis is the ongoing inflammation of joints that cause bones to grind against each other.

Joint Swelling

In rheumatoid arthritis, the lining and cartilage of the joints get damaged. This leads to the painful swelling known as inflammation, which is the most common symptom seen in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation of the joints makes them appear bigger than normal causing joints to feel warm to touch. This may lead to permanent joint damage and usually affects both sides of the body equally. Inflammation can also happen throughout the body apart from the joints.

Numbness & Tingling sensation

Inflammation of tendons can create pressure on nerves and cause numbness or tingling in thumb and fingers, which is a classic symptom of the condition “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”. People with rheumatoid arthritis may also notice a squeak or crackling noise in the joints of hands or feet during movement due to damaged cartilage grinds against the joints.

Low-grade Fever

In case of rheumatoid arthritis, people may suffer from a low-grade fever with the body temperature ranging from 98.7 to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. A low-grade fever accompanied by other symptoms like joint pain and inflammation can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

Reduced range of movement: Inflammation of joints results in unstable or deformed tendons and ligaments. The active disease tends to increase the joint inflammation and results in decreased range of motion. Swelling in the joints limits the range of motion and makes people lose their ability to bend or straighten the joints.

Tags : Carpal Tunnel SyndromeNumbness & Tingling sensationsymptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

The author MaxCure Hospitals

MaxCure Group of Hospitals is the fastest growing multi-speciality chain in India. Established in the year 2011, MaxCure Group of Hospitals has the vision to offer clinical excellence through experienced doctors, high-end infrastructure and transparent patient care which is on par with the best in the world.

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