Rheumatoid arthritis is an extremely common joint pain condition. The cause of arthritis could be injury, age, genetics, and many other factors. It could be any of those factors or possibly all of them. There is no single direct cause of arthritis so it is impossible to predict who will develop arthritis and when they will develop it. However there are some symptoms that commonly occur in the early stages of arthritis that may alert you to the fact that you could be developing arthritis. It is good to know as early on as you can that you are developing arthritis because you can increase the amount of care that you are giving to your bone and joint pain in order to try and counteract the severity of your rheumatoid arthritis. We are about to let you in on the most common early symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis.
1. Increased Fatigue
Fatigue is often the first symptom that many people begin to experience before developing rheumatoid arthritis. Fatigue may precede the beginning of other symptoms by weeks or even by a matter of months. You may find that you feel fatigued every single day, every other day, or it may even show up and disappear week by week. The tiredness and fatigue may be accompanied with an overall feeling of poor health and even feelings depression and a loss of hope.
2. Morning Stiffness
Stiffness in the morning is another very common early sign of arthritis. You may feel short bouts of stiffness throughout the entire day but the stiffness is probably going to be worse in the morning because you have been stuck in the same position for several hours.
3. Joint Stiffness
You may feel that your joints are stiff. The stiffness will probably occur in one of the smaller joints at any time in the day. However, just like morning stiffness you may find that your joint stiffness is worse after you have been sitting or standing in a stagnant position for long periods. It usually starts in the joints that reside in the hands and begins to gradually build, spread, and worsen in severity.
4. Joint Pain
Joint stiffness is usually closely with by joint tenderness or pain while the body is active and while it is at rest as well. The pain usually affects both sides of the body in equal proportion. In the early phases of rheumatoid arthritis, the most common places that pain will occur are in the fingers and wrists. In some cases, people also experience pain in their ankles, knees, shoulders, and feet. Joint pain treatments should be done on a early notice period.
5. Minor Joint Swelling
You could also find that your joint increase in size due to inflammation. The swelling will typically occur in the minor joints and the joints that are swollen may feel warm when you touch them. If you notice that your joints are swollen and you don’t know of any other cause it could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
You can find that you have a low fever. The fever will most likely accompany other symptoms such as pain and inflammation. But if you have a high fever it is most likely not a sign of arthritis, but a sign that you have another illness or it could be an infection.
7. Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling in the hands is a symptom of arthritis and it is an early sign as well. The tendons that are experiencing inflammation can put pressure on your nerves that results in an odd sensation in the hands. You may find that this feeling comes and goes throughout the day.
8. Decrease in Range of Motion
The inflammation that arthritis causes in your joints can hinder the stability of the ligaments as well as the tendons and cause them to become deformed. As the arthritis continues to become more severe you could find yourself with the lost ability to stretch, straighten, or bend some joints in your body.
9. Dry eyes or mouth
You could also find that your eyes and mouth are unusually dry. This is caused by the fact that the inflammation and swelling of the joints draws water from your body leaving your eye and mouth with the water that they need in order to stay moist. You may have to increase the amount of water that you intake throughout the day.
10. Trouble sleeping
Trouble sleeping is the last sign of rheumatoid arthritis that we will discuss. It is one of the least common but you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the night regardless of how tired you are.
These are the top ten signs that you may be developing rheumatoid arthritis. You may experience one or more of these symptoms. You should contact your doctor if these symptoms persist.