8 rheumatoid arthritis signs that must not be ignored
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. It results in the body’s immune system attacking healthy cells. As a result, one may develop inflammation (painful swelling) in various body regions, hampering their ability to carry out daily tasks. Rheumatoid arthritis is manageable with treatments and lifestyle alterations, but identifying it early could improve its effectiveness. Being mindful of these eight early warning signs of rheumatoid arthritis could help one seek early prevention.
Feeling fatigued after a night’s rest and without physical activity might require an expert’s opinion. The body utilizes energy to fight inflammation. Therefore, it may increase fatigue and tiredness while doing the same activities. Fatigue may negatively impact how an individual indulges in regular activities, relationships, and productivity at work. So if one notices this sign, they should speak with an expert immediately.
Stiff joints in the morning
Rheumatoid arthritis may also result in stiff joints, which may worsen when an individual wakes up in the morning. Since these joints may feel more flexible after some activity, one might overlook the sign. If it lasts 30 minutes or longer, one could identify this sign as a potential indicator of an RA flare. Apart from this, one may also experience stiffness that affects the wrists, hands, and feet joints.
A fever is a part of the overall response from the body’s immune system and is usually caused by an infection. However, if the condition is accompanied by inflammation and joint pain, it might indicate the onset of rheumatoid arthritis and must be diagnosed by an expert immediately.
Numbness and tingling
If an individual is affected by RA, the inflammation of tendons may apply pressure on the nerves. The development could result in tingling, numbness, or a burning sensation in the hands. These signs are categorized under carpal tunnel syndrome and may require treatment options and other management methods.
Decrease in range of motion
The inflammation of joints may cause an individual’s tendons and ligaments to deform and become unstable. As the disease progresses without treatment, the affected person might find it tedious or impossible to bend or straighten some joints. Therefore, one should visit an expert for a health assessment, followed by a treatment plan. Gentle exercises may help ease the ache and improve one’s movement.
The inflammation of joints may result in a red-like appearance since the blood vessels in the surrounding skin widen, resulting in the joints appearing red. Furthermore, one may experience warmth in the joints before redness or swelling.
Joints affected on both sides
If one experiences pain in the same joints on both sides, one should visit an expert for a diagnosis. While it could occur due to factors such as infections or strenuous physical activity, the development might indicate the onset of RA.
Tenderness of the joints
Someone affected by RA may notice tenderness of the joints, such as the base of the fingers of the hand. These may feel tender when pressed or during movement. Furthermore, the joints at the base of the toes may also become tender, and the pain may compel one to walk on their heels or lift their toes as they walk.