Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Chronic Pain, Inflammation, and Fatigue as RA Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms often begin very slowly, and they usually first appear in your small joints. For example, you may begin to notice pain in both of your wrists. Typically with RA, if you have pain and inflammation in your right wrist, you'll also have symptoms in your left wrist.

With rheumatoid arthritis, just about any part of the body can be affected. Other than the wrists, RA is commonly seen in the fingers, hips, knees, and neck.

Your RA symptoms may seem unrelated. You might have fatigue you just can't seem to shake along with frequent headaches and/or migraines. But when you have RA, these symptoms are often connected.

Although chronic joint pain and inflammation are classic rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, there are other RA symptoms to look out for.

  • Regular morning stiffness (This stiffness usually lasts more than 30 minutes when you wake up in the morning.)
  • Burning, numbness, and tingling in the hands and/or feet
  • Burning, itching, and discharge of your eyes
  • Decrease in muscle strength and joint motion
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Joint pain and swelling (Joints can also be tender and warm, especially if you don't use them frequently.)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sleeping problems (You may have trouble falling or staying asleep, or you may feel groggy when you wake up.)
  • Small nodules under your skin (which is usually a sign the RA has progressed)
  • Swollen glands
  • Weakness

Not everyone experiences rheumatoid arthritis in the same way. Some people may have many rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, while others may have only a couple of symptoms. It's important to get these symptoms checked out by a doctor right away.

Your symptoms may come and go, or your RA symptoms may flare up for months—or even longer in some cases. But don't worry—there are numerous rheumatoid arthritis treatments that can help relieve your rheumatoid arthritis-related pain, inflammation, and other symptoms.

Updated on: 11/19/15
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis