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

Comment from: casandra, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I was always very healthy. One very bad fall on the escalator and it triggered my rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Doctors admit not to know the causes. Well, I can tell you a fall did trigger RA in my case. I never had arthritis before let alone rheumatoid! Two doctors I told this to cannot believe me. I wonder if anyone else remembers having a fall and there after RA.

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Comment from: gegrandma, 45-54 (Caregiver) Published: March 19

My son started out with psoriasis when he was 18 and all the joint stuff, Baker's cyst, etc. He tried methotrexate and now Enbrel which help. If you have the rheumatic arthritis conditions but have psoriasis, check psoriatic arthritis.

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Comment from: Rebtay, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I had a swollen thumb, wrist and left hand, it was very painful.

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Comment from: Alexa, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 24

At the start of my rheumatoid arthritis, I had sore wrists and could not turn on taps.

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Comment from: Lori, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I retired at 63 with what I thought was excellent health and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) hit me like a ton of bricks - took 2 months of intense traveling pain before I was properly diagnosed. It had already been wreaking havoc with my lungs as I have interstitial lung disease too. I mostly slept in my recliner and thought I was losing my mind. It feels like your affected part at the moment is BROKEN. I have a constant cough that drives me nuts they have pretty much ignored. I am on methotrexate, Plaquenil, and prednisone - these drugs are making me lose hair and messing up my skin. I've read the side affects of these drugs and it appears the cough, thin skin, and hair loss are caused by these wicked meds. This is one UGLY disease I wish on nobody! I try very hard to be grateful for the years I had without pain and to accept it and just be grateful it's not cancer but some days...

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Comment from: marleen, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 20

I do understand how others feel. I was going through the same thing. When I went to the doctor I was diagnosed with gout. It's a very painful experience. If you don't know the score now, it can hurt longer than a month. Go get it checked out; it can be something serious and you can prevent it.

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Published: June 25

The first sign was my jaw that bothered me for 2 months. Then my neck was stiff for 2 months. My hands and wrist started stiff and sore. Continues with painful right shoulder and fatigue. I went to a Rheumatologist and he stated that I will be treated with an I.V.

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Published: June 20

I am just over halfway thru my 60th year and was just diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. In January I was experiencing stiffness in my hands and random muscle spasms moving between my arms and shoulders and then I suffered a major attack of Hives. At that time my doctor gave me a prescription for prednisone, which stopped the hives and really fixed everything. I felt 20 years younger in a matter of days. Within a month after that the hands started getting stiff again, and soon were keeping me awake at night with unexpected pains and spasms. On my doctor's advice I went to a rheumatologist, and discovered that I have RA. It was really quick to take over. If I had symptoms before this year, they were minor...

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Prognosis Question: What's the prognosis for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diet Question: Discuss the diet or other lifestyle changes you've made to relieve symptoms and signs of RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diagnosis Question: What led to your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience With RA and OA Question: Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

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