Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis -- It's Not Just the Joints

Joint Symptoms

For a person with rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms that affect the joints usually differ from other forms of arthritis. Within the affected joints, common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
  • Tender, warm, and swollen joints
  • Pain that is worse with movement
  • A decrease in motion
  • A symmetrical pattern affecting both the right and left sides of the body
  • Pain and stiffness lasting for more than 30 minutes in the morning or after a long rest.


Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms often affect the wrist and finger joints closest to the hand. However, joint inflammation can sometimes affect other joints, including the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.


The majority of people with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis will also have more generalized symptoms that include weakness, tiring easily, decreased appetite, weight loss, and a low-grade fever.


Other Symptoms

As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, a person may develop other symptoms outside of the joint. Some of these other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may include:
  • Rheumatoid nodules, which are small lumps. These can occur under your skin at pressure points. They can occur anywhere, but some common areas for rheumatoid nodules include the elbow, wrist, Achilles tendon, and the back of the head.


  • Loss of strength in the muscles that surround the affected joints.


  • Dry eyes and mouth.


  • Anemia, which is a decrease in the production of red blood cells.



  • Very rarely, inflammation of the blood vessels, the lining of the lungs, or the sac enclosing the heart.


Top Foods to Fight Inflammation

Information About Rheumatoid Arthritis

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