You must have heard about rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on the internet or from people around you. It’s an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. In this disease, your own immune system starts attacking healthy cells in your body, which leads to inflammation in the joint linings. Now, you have started feeling pain in your knees and hands a little and you’re worried whether you have developed this chronic inflammatory disorder. We will advise you not to worry and to look out for some early signs of RA, which appear rather slowly over time. If you notice them in time and seek help from a medical professional, you will be able to bring down the symptoms of RA.
In this blog, we have listed some common early signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Keep in mind that symptoms vary from person to person. Let’s take a look at some common signs of RA.
- Weakness - You may feel tired or fatigued before other clear symptoms. It may take weeks or months for those other symptoms to become apparent but before their onset, you will start feeling weak. Along with weakness, you might feel depressed or unhappy without any reason.
- Stiffness - If you experience stiffness in your joints when you wake up in the morning, consider this as an early sign of arthritis. Stiffness can last from minutes to hours. If it lasts for hours, then you could be dealing with early symptoms of RA. If the stiffness lasts only for some minutes, then it’s a warning sign that it can worsen over time if proper treatment is not sought.
- Joint Pain - Along with stiffness, you may feel pain in your joints, at any time of day, while resting or engaging in activities. Keep in mind that you will experience pain on both sides of the body. Typically in RA, early pain occurs in the fingers and wrists. However, you can also experience pain in knees, ankles, or shoulders.
- Inflammation - You may notice that your joints have swelled up slightly. The increased warmth of the joints are responsible for minor joint swelling. This RA symptom can last for some days, in some cases, it can last for a couple of weeks. Over time, these flare-ups will become more frequent.
- Range of Motion Decreases - When your joints become swelled up, deformation of tendons and ligaments can happen. And when these symptoms grow over time, it will become difficult for you to bend or straighten some joints.