Early recognition of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and rapid treatment are critical to achieving disease control and preventing joint damage leading to disability. 
It has been shown that treatment, including anti-rheumatic drugs and new biologicals, slows down and prevents joint damage and allows many patients with RA to lead a full and active life. This article will look at the early signs of rheumatoid arthritis.

The problem with early recognition of RA is that the disease can be difficult to distinguish from other types of arthritis associated with inflammation. In most patients, RA can begin with changes and signs that are small and seem insignificant. It may take several weeks or months before the symptoms become severe enough to seek medical attention. The distinguishing characteristics of RA, including joint erosion, the formation of nodules and manifestations of RA that occur outside the joints (extra-articular), usually affect patients who have had the disease for a long time.

What are the early signs of rheumatoid arthritis

The early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which can be preceded by noticeable joint pain and stiffness, include fatigue, numbness, and tingling in the hands, muscle pain, a slight fever, and weight loss. In some cases, the onset of RA can include inflammation in the tissues, with the exception of joints, including the lungs (shortness of breath) and the heart (chest pain).



Early signs of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Fatigue: weakness that affects the ability to perform normal daily activities.
  • Numbness and tingling: effects on hands and fingers.
  • Fever: fever caused by inflammation.
  • Weight loss: unexplained weight loss, possibly due to weakness and fatigue.
  • Soreness of the arm when moving or applying pressure (especially the joint in the middle of the fingers and at the base of the fingers).
  • Possible redness or inflammation affecting the entire arm.
  • Soreness of the foot joint at the base of the toes (can cause the patient to walk on the heel or raise the toes up).
  • Swelling and redness in the upper part of the foot.
  • Pain in the heel.
  • Wrist pain and swelling make it difficult to bend the wrist back.  Medication for rheumatoid arthritis .

Early symptoms. Key features of rheumatoid arthritis that your doctor will look for include pain and swelling in the joints affected by this disease. The pain will be apparent as tenderness when pressure is applied to the external area or when the joint moves. Edema due to fluid accumulation in the joint cavity and thickening of the joint tissue will put pressure on the joint, which is often described as a “marshy” sensation. In addition, the joints involved may feel hot and red, as signs of active inflammation.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually has a characteristic articular lesion, with the same joints on both sides of the affected body (this symmetrical pattern may not appear in the early stages of the disease). In the early stages of RA, small joints tend to be more affected than large joints. For example, joints located at the base of the fingers and toes and joints located in the middle of the fingers. However, in some patients, it may begin with pain in a large joint (shoulder or knee), which moves from one joint to another and comes and goes.  How to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis ?

Hands. In many patients, hand joints are the first to be affected by RA. The joints will be painful when they are compressed or when moving, and a decrease in compressive strength may be apparent. Some patients may experience a noticeable swelling and redness affecting the entire arm.

The wrist. Among the joints in the hand, the wrist is most often affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Even in the early stages of the disease, it may be difficult for the patient to bend his wrist back.

Elbow. In RA, the elbow can become inflamed and swollen, causing compression of the nerve, which leads to numbness and tingling of the fingers.




Leg. Legs, like hands, are often affected in the early stages of RA. The upper part of the foot may become red and swollen. Joints at the base of the toes can become painful, which makes it painful to walk and make the patient carry weight on his heels and tilt his fingers upward while standing or walking. In some patients, the heel can also become painful.

you may also like this:



8 Comments

Rheumatoid Arthritis Sleep - Arthritisco .com · October 22, 2019 at 3:32 pm

[…] Good hygiene recommendations include setting a regular time for bed and getting up in the morning, to make your bed comfortable and to keep your bedroom dark and calm. Make sure you use your bed for sleep only, that you get regular exercise, avoid caffeine or other stimulants during the evening. And take time before bed to relax and get ready for bed.  Early signs of RA. […]

Concomitant diseases of rheumatoid arthritis - Arthritisco · October 23, 2019 at 4:03 am

[…] Associated conditions affecting mental health are often ignored. There is research conducted around arthritis, depression, and arthritis and anxiety.  Early signs of RA. […]

Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis - Arthritisco .com · October 23, 2019 at 4:16 am

[…] Autoimmune diseases, such as RA, are thought to be caused by various conditions. They can be divided into four main categories: genetics, hormonal changes, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. Sometimes this is a combination of all of them, while each of them has the ability to affect the health of your joints, put them together, and can really harm the joints of your body.   Early signs of RA. […]

What causes rheumatoid arthritis - Arthritisco .com · January 20, 2020 at 11:31 am

[…] Gender: Men and women are susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis, but the disease is much more common in women. In fact, 70 percent of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are women. This may be due to various hormonal factors that are involved in the development of RA. For example, changes in hormones (e.g., the use of certain contraceptives) have been associated with promoting the development of RA in people who are genetically susceptible or have been exposed to an initiating event. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis also usually improve or completely disappear during pregnancy, with frequent outbreaks more common after birth. Breastfeeding can also cause symptoms of RA, such as joint inflammation and low-grade fever.  Early signs of RA. […]

Glucocorticoids for rheumatoid arthritis - Arthritisco · January 20, 2020 at 11:47 am

[…] Glucocorticoids exhibit their strong anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects (changing the way the immune system works in a certain way), inhibiting the key cells of the immune system and chemicals that play a role in inflammation. They achieve their effect through several different mechanisms, most importantly, interfering with how genes work to synthesize key components of the immune system. Glucocorticoids are also considered immunosuppressants.  Early signs of RA. […]

Eye damage in rheumatoid arthritis - Arthritisco .com · March 1, 2020 at 7:54 pm

[…] Sometimes eye damage occurs with rheumatoid arthritis. About 30 to 40% of people with RA will have some eye symptoms. Most people suffer from both eyes. In addition, vision problems are a rare but serious complication of the hydroxychloroquine medication commonly used to treat RA. For these reasons, people with RA may require regular eye examinations. Early signs of rheumatoid arthritis […]

Body autoimmune response – Arthritisco · June 16, 2020 at 8:45 pm

[…] This unknown factor causes leukocyte migration and infiltration into synovia. When the immune system activates and the disease progresses, a cascade of inflammatory cell types and chemicals of the immune system arise. These cells of the immune system and the wide range of chemicals they produce play a role in the autoimmune process, which ultimately causes joint destruction.  Early signs of rheumatoid arthritis . […]

The development of the disease rheumatoid arthritis - Arthritisco · January 20, 2021 at 2:38 pm

[…] In some cases, joint inflammation may continue or worsen despite treatment. This may not necessarily lead to a complete progressive state of rheumatoid arthritis, but it may be more difficult to maintain your mobility and range of motion.  Early signs of RA. […]

Leave a Reply