Signs of Rheumatoid Chaos

Rheuma­toid arthri­tis (RA) is debil­i­tat­ing chronic dis­ease that affects the joints. It can occur in a num­ber of parts of the body, though it pri­mar­ily afflicts the joints. Symp­toms can flare up and then dis­ap­pear for long peri­ods of time. RA causes inflam­ma­tion of joints and can make mov­ing very dif­fi­cult and painful.

RA presents symp­toms that are sim­i­lar to other con­di­tions, but it always affects the joints. Check with a doc­tor if you are suf­fer­ing some or all of the fol­low­ing symptoms:

  • Joint stiff­ness – Joints are harder to move and have lesser range of motion. “Morn­ing stiff­ness”, which can affect RA patients upon wak­ing in the morn­ing, can take hours to dissipate.
  • Swelling – Fluid can enter the joint, lead­ing it to become tumes­cent, and con­tribut­ing to joint stiffness.
  • Pain – Inflam­ma­tion inside the joint leads to sen­si­tiv­ity and ten­der­ness. Pro­tracted inflam­ma­tion can lead to joint damage.
  • Red­ness and warmth – Skin near inflamed joint may appear red­der or feel warmer than sur­round­ing skin.
  • Fatigue – Dif­fi­culty mov­ing can lead to a feel­ing of phys­i­cal exhaustion.
  • Malaise – A gen­eral feel­ing of ill­ness can accom­pany RA.
  • Rheuma­toid nod­ules – Firm bumps of tis­sue under the skin may form. These bumps typ­i­cally occur at the back of the elbows or hands and may be painful to the touch.
  • Locked joints – Swelling of ten­dons and con­nec­tive tis­sue around joints can become so severe, the joint becomes unable to move.
  • Sym­met­ri­cal mis­ery – Joints on both sides of the body may hurt at the same time.

RA typ­i­cally begins in the smaller joints, such as the ones that attach the fin­gers to the hands or toes to the feet. As the dis­ease drags on, it can move to big­ger joints, like the knees, elbows, and shoul­ders. RA can be man­aged effec­tively with help from a doc­tor, so it’s good idea to see a med­ical pro­fes­sional if you’re suf­fer­ing from the above symptoms.