Joint symptoms usually involve multiple
joints. The most commonly affected joints are the wrists
fingers. Other joints can also be affected. This can include the knees, feet,
elbow, hips, neck
and ankles. Usually if joints on one side of the body are affected, then joints on the other side of the body are also affected.
Rhematoid arthritis is a chronic disease, but it can be managed. Symptoms usually flare up and subside intermittently. Each person is different. In some people, symptoms get worse over time, while in others, there may be long periods without any disease activity.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Joint symptoms include:
- Increased pain and stiffness in the morning and after inactivity
- Morning stiffness and pain that lasts more than 30 minutes
- Red, swollen, warm joints
- Deformed, misshapen joints
Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Intense fatigue, decreased energy
- Muscle aches
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Fever and sweats
- Problems sleeping
- Bumps occurring under the skin (rheumatoid nodules)
Conditions associated with rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Sjogren's syndrome
—an inflammatory condition involving the tear and salivary glands
- Felty syndrome—three conditions marked by rheumatoid arthritis, enlarged spleen, and low levels of white blood cells
- Caplan syndrome—marked by rheumatoid arthritis and pneumoconiosis (lung disease in people exposed to coal mining dust or asbestos)
- Raynaud's disease and phenomenon
- Muscle inflammation
- Muscle weakness
- Kidney disease
Rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at:
http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/rheumatoid-arthritis. Accessed July 24, 2013.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp. Updated April 2009. Accessed July 24, 2013.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated July 2, 2013. Accessed July 24, 2013.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.