Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis That You Should Watch Out For

Jul 20, 2022

Chronic care

Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis That You Should Watch Out For

Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis That You Should Watch Out For Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the healthy cells and tissue of the joints, causing inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling.

RA can affect anyone at any age. It progresses quickly, which makes early diagnosis and treatment two crucial factors. Though there is no cure for RA, treatment and lifestyle changes can minimize the condition’s impact.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Look for these early signs of RA to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment. 1.


One of the earliest and most common symptoms of RA is fatigue. Your body gets drained from the energy from fighting the inflammation at the joints, making you feel tired all the time. If such tiredness lasts more than a few weeks, seek medical consultation at once. 2.

Morning stiffness

Do you find it hard to move your joints right after you wake up? It might be rheumatoid arthritis. Morning stiffness is a sign of all kinds of arthritis, and if this stiffness lasts longer than 30 mins after you wake up, it's time to see a doctor. 3.

Joint pain

Joint pain is one of the main symptoms of RA and is caused by inflammation. If RA is not treated, it can severely damage the cartilage, bone, ligaments, and joint fluids. The result of this is intense pain and movement restriction. 4.

Joint tenderness

Tenderness in the joints of hands and feet, typically in the base of the fingers and toes, is one of the most noteworthy early signs of RA. The soreness of the tender joint can be extremely painful and cause difficulty in movement. 5.

Joint swelling

Joint swelling is another main sign of RA. The swelling can be minimal or very apparent, but if you feel your range of joint movement has reduced due to swelling and the other symptoms accompanying it, it might be RA. 6.

Joint redness

RA is sometimes also accompanied by joint redness. It is caused by increased blood flow to the area as the body's response to the inflammation. 7.

Numbness and tingling

Another early sign of RA, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet, might be caused when the nerves surrounding the joints are affected by the inflammation. 8.

Decrease in range of motion

Joint stiffness, pain, and swelling can negatively affect your range of motion as the disease progresses. If you cannot bend or straighten your joints, it might be RA. 9.

Both sides of the body are affected

Usually, with RA, joints on both sides of the body are affected. It doesn't mean there will be symmetric joint involvement, but it’s not usually isolated to one body part.

Also read: How Can Chronic Care Management Help with Chronic Diseases?

RA Treatment Options

RA can be managed, and joint damage can be minimized with the right treatment. Some of the treatment options available include:

  • Medications like steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and biologic agents
  • Physical therapy to keep your joints mobile
  • Surgery to repair severely damaged joints

Also read: 4 Tips You Can Implement to Keep Diabetes Under Control

When to See a Doctor

If you have been noticing one or more of the symptoms mentioned here, you must consult a doctor at once.

If you have been noticing these signs and are searching for a doctor already, then you can contact us. At Newnan Family Medicine Associates P.C, our experienced and qualified providers can help you with a quick diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Schedule an appointment with us today!


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