Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms and Signs

What were your symptoms and signs at the onset of your rheumatoid arthritis?

A Doctor's View on 15 Early Symptoms and Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Read the Comment by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Early RA symptoms and signs vary differently from person to person. The most common body parts that are initially affected by RA include the small joints of the hands, wrists, and feet, and the knees and hip joints. Joint inflammation causes stiffness. Warmth, redness, and pain may vary in degree. Read the entire Doctor's View

Published: June 03

Pain in the finger joints, lethargic in the morning, elbow painful when rasing things to chest level. The upper part of both arms aching and shoulder blades aching.

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Published: June 02

I started to get stiffness in my jaw and couldn't chew food, then came the wrists which was very painful then I started to have symptoms in the rest of my joints.....and massive swelling in my hands the last thing so far is the little bumps under the skin of my feet. I am still in a flare stage for over a year now hoping for a remission someday.

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Published: June 02

I had just started a new job and had to do a little typing on the computer, so when my left thumb started hurting at the joint I just thought it was from the typing. But when other fingers started swelling and would be very stiff in the a.m. I knew something was wrong. Two months after my hands started bothering me, my toes started to hurt and they would also be swollen in the a.m. When I would get out of bed I had to be careful because standing on my feet hurt so badly. Seven months later I was diagnosed with RA.

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Published: June 02

I have been just diagnosed with RA 2 weeks ago at age 29. I'm a single mother of a 5 year old. I have just bought my first house and she just started T-Ball. I have always been active in sports and find it hard to believe I can no longer be active with her and do my daily upkeep to the house. It started with the foot to the point I could not walk on it. Off to the doctor and got the blood work done. He put me on the secondary set of medications and all of a sudden now my right hand and fingers won't move. My right side of the body is constantly aching and fatigue is a constant. I fear one day I'll wake up and feel paralyzed. I try not to let the depression of this disease get to me. Please keep your heads up and keep smiling.

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Published: May 30

I was just diagnosed by my family doctor with RA two weeks ago through a blood test. It started in two fingers on my right hand and one finger in my left hand. I was put on Naprosyn and after a week didn't feel any different so now I've been taking Prednisone and feel somewhat better. I am seeing a rheumatologist in three weeks.

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Published: May 30

I felt fatigue, and I had swollen joints in my hands and fingers.

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Published: May 30

I felt pain and swelling in my fingers, wrists and toes. I also experienced weight loss and fatigue.

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Published: May 30

I am 25 years old and first noticed symptoms of arthritis when I was about 8. I was a competitive gymnast, and because of this, my doctor brushed off any pain as simply "over doing it." I have never been officially been diagnosed, as specialists always told me I was "too young to have arthritis" and to basically "walk it off." I am convinced that I have RA, and over the years the disease has essentially spread to all of my joints other than my knees. It feels like if I pull on my fingers or try to crack my joints that the bones will pop back into the right place, but nothing seems to help. The pain is often so severe that all I can do is sit and cry in pain. I am reading this webpage now because I am unable to move from my couch.

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Published: May 30

At the age of 16 I suddenly awoke one morning with all of my fingers stiff, red, swollen and was unable to bend them at all. Within days I also developed swollen unbending knees and I was in an unbearable amount of pain. After series of exams in search of Lyme disease, my doctor finally diagnosed me with severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Throughout the last 20 years the only thing that I find more painful than this disease is acceptance of the limitations placed in my everyday life. I am literally my own worst enemy. I have no idea what a day is like without pain and I pray for a cure within my lifetime that will allow to experience it.

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Patient Comments

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