Sore joints? Spot 12 early signs of rheumatoid arthritis, get timely treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis can cause joint swelling and excruciating pain as RA progresses. But how do you catch it early to facilitate rapid treatment?

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder in which a person’s immune system attacks their joints.
  • These disorders are called autoimmune disorders and cannot be treated with simple pain relief treatments and massage.
  • Inflamed joints restrict movement, cause depression. What are the first signs of this condition?

People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (PR) have suffered for too long without diagnosis or treatment before their disease was identified. We often tend to blame the condition on the seasonal extremes in temperature, or other external factors.

During this time, the affected person’s hands, wrists and feet, especially the joints, continue to develop excruciating pain and progressive restriction of movement. Doctors often lament that if only people spot the signs of rheumatoid disease arthritis early enough and seek medical attention in time, this could lead to early diagnosis and proper treatment that helps prevent joint damage and ultimately disability. Medical News Today has compiled a list of early signs to spot to treat rheumatoid arthritis in time.

First signs of RA:

  1. Tired: Articular pain can set in much later, but before the onset of this condition there is another feeling that the person develops in the body – that of general fatigue. A person with RA may feel extremely tired and lack energy. They may also feel depressed. This fatigue can be such that it begins to affect their daily activities, their relationships, their libido, even the delivery of work where they otherwise hold a good record.
  2. The suspicion of a fever: Often, the joint swelling that people with RA suffer from can also make them feel generally unwell. A slight temperature accompanied by a feeling of fatigue can be a harbinger of joint pain that will soon follow.
  3. Weightloss: When general malaise, pain, and a slight fever begin to reduce appetite, it naturally begins to lead to weight loss. It’s not a healthy form of weight loss. You haven’t done anything to achieve healthy weight loss.
  4. Stiffness: Another early sign of RA is joint stiffness. Stiffness can occur in one or two small joints, often in the fingers. It may appear slowly but can last for several days. Not just small and large joints, even the whole body begins to reflect stiffness – slowly and gradually, especially if one has been standing still for a considerable time. Also, early in the morning.
  5. Joint tenderness: Joints begin to show tenderness to touch. A sharp, stabbing pain can travel through small and large joints when touched, and if pressure is applied, it may feel worse.
  6. Articular pain: With the inflammation and accumulation of fluids around the joints, one may feel pain in the joints – with or without touch or pressure applied from the outside.
  7. Joint swelling: For no apparent reason, the joints begin to develop a swollen appearance which can get worse as RA progresses. If swelling or inflammation is left unchecked and untreated, it damages the cartilage, which normally acts as a “shock absorber” in your joints. Soon what follows is joint deformity, and eventually bone erosion and joint fusion – which is actually your body’s effort to protect itself from the constant irritation.
  8. Joint redness: Pain and swelling have another effect on the joints. The discolored skin around the joints begins to accumulate a red appearance. This is due to the inflammation which causes the blood vessels in the surrounding skin to dilate.
  9. Joint heat: Joint heat is triggered by inflammation. You may have symptoms of pain and inflammation in your: Fingers.

Hands.

Cuffs

Knees

Ankles.

Feet.

Toes.

This sensation precedes the redness or swelling that will likely follow.

  • Numbness and tingling: In addition to bones and muscles, the nerves in the joints are also affected. This prevents the back and forth transfer of messages between the joints and the brain where motor functions are governed. Numbness and tingling affecting the hands and feet can be an early sign of RA. These symptoms are caused by inflammation of the joints which can cause nerve compression, resulting in loss of sensation.
  • Decreased range of motion: Since rheumatoid arthritis leads to pain, swelling and tenderness in the affected joints, it hampers the full movement and stability of the joint and it becomes unable to perform movement with confidence, balance and wholeness. In the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, a person may notice that they have trouble bending their wrist back and forth. As the disease progresses, joint damage can affect ligaments and tendons, making it difficult for them to bend and straighten. A lameness can set in. One may also notice a lack of coordination, loss of grip and dexterity, and incapacitation.
  • Joints affected on both sides: It is common for people with RA to have symptoms in the same joints on both sides of the body. Stiffness, pain, swelling, etc. in rheumatoid arthritis are usually similar on both sides of the body. This symmetrical joint involvement is a hallmark of classic rheumatoid arthritis. Although this symmetry is typical, it is not the case for all people with the disease.
  • Warning: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.

    About Antoine L. Cassell

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