Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

The most common symptoms are joint pain, which can provoke deformations of the extremities in the long term.


The first symptoms appear on the hands, the wrists, knees and the joints of the feet and involve inflammatory pain. This pain is felt even at rest, and can reach the neck, the jaw and the elbows. In the long term, certain patients develop deformed fingers. 

The pain felt overnight can last until the morning. The illness feels like having rusty joints. This joint rustiness in the mornings can last for several hours. The patient may also experience fever and fatigue.


Sometimes rheumatoid nodules (para-articular swelling) appear on the skin in the area of the elbow and finger joints.
Other more severe and rare forms can affect the eyes, the lungs, the blood vessels, the nerves and the heart. 

All rheumatologists agree that it is important to screen the initial symptoms so that a diagnosis can be given early. If the illness is diagnosed early enough, the treatments, while not able to provide a cure, can control the progression of the illness or even stabilise the illness in some cases.

Considering the complexity of forms of this illness, the diagnosis is frequently difficult to establish. In fact, that are some benign forms that involve practically no consequences for the patient. Certain people may not suffer any particular symptoms or joint problems, and continue to lead a completely normal life.

Last updated: 25/11/2017

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