Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Leg Pain - (2023)

Differential Diagnosis Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Aches & Pains – Home Remedies for Arthritis | Rheumatoid Arthritis pain relief !

It is mainly performed with other types of arthritis, in particular, with a reactive form. In addition, work is carried out on a thorough examination, in order to exclude osteoarthritis. Thus, we get two diseases that can give adjacent symptoms, increasing the likelihood of an incorrect diagnosis – it’s reactive arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Considering these three diseases in the framework of differential diagnostics, compare the existing symptoms and complaints with the presence and specificity of this symptom in adjacent diagnoses.

It is most convenient to explain using a specific example. Let’s consider some data that are important for an accurate diagnosis and compare three diseases. So, we are interested in:

  • Age of the patient.
  • Indicators of ESR.
  • Presence of a rheumatoid in the blood.

These indicators in three cases will, by and large, be different. With such a disease as rheumatoid arthritis, the picture will be as follows: the patient’s age is medium or slightly above average, severe pain in the joints, with the presence of a feeling of stiffness in the limbs in the morning. The joints are symmetrical. In the blood excessively high index of ESR. Revmofactor is positive for seropositive form of the disease.

The same parameters for the two other diseases we consider through an apostrophe, in the sequence – reactive arthritis / osteoarthritis:

Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a dangerous autoimmune disease that can lead to chronic inflammation of the joints of the legs and other areas of the body.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages.
  • The causes of such a disease, as rheumatoid arthritis, often remain unknown.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis of the joints of the legs is a chronic ailment characterized by periods of outbreaks of the disease and then its remission.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by the fact that several joints of the legs often, but not always, suffer symmetrically.
  • Chronic inflammation can lead to irreversible damage to the joints and deformation.
  • Damage to the joints of the legs can occur early and does not correlate with the severity of the symptoms.
  • “Rheumatoid factor” is an antibody that can be found in the blood of 80% of people for rheumatoid arthritis of the joints of the legs.
  • Treatment of insidious rheumatoid arthritis combines a combination: medication, rest and exercise, and sometimes surgical intervention.
  • At the beginning of the treatment of a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, affecting the joints of the legs, leads to better results than in chronic form.

Features Of The Course Of The Disease

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, which means that it can last for many years, so people with this disease can experience the flow, but without any symptoms. However, rheumatoid arthritis is usually a progressive disease that tends to cause the destruction of leg joints and lead a person to functional disability.

The joint is the place where two bones meet to provide a limb movement for a person, for example, legs. Arthritis of the legs is an inflammation of the joints of the legs. Inflammation of our joints during the course of rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling, pain, stiffness and redness in the joints. Inflammation can also last in tissues located around the joints, for example, such as tendons, ligaments and muscles.

In some people affected by the disease, chronic inflammation leads to a prolonged destruction of the cartilage, bones and ligaments, which eventually leads to deformation of the joints. Damage to the joints can be in the initial stage of the disease and be progressive. In addition, studies have shown that progressive damage to leg joints does not necessarily correlate with the degree of pain, stiffness, swelling in the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a common rheumatic disease that affects 1.3 million people in the US alone, according to current census data. This disease is three times more common in women than in men. Rheumatoid arthritis and associated pain in the legs affect people of all races equally.

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What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are many effective methods for decreasing the pain and inflammation and slowing down the disease process. Early diagnosis and effective treatment are very important.

(Video) Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Extensive research is being done to learn the cause of rheumatoid arthritis and the best methods of treatment.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/17/2017.


Common Causes Of Hand Cramps

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Leg Pain - (1)

Whether it happens in your hand, leg, or another part of your body, cramping is often related to muscle fatigue, and there can be a variety of triggers. Cramping can be caused by dehydration, electrolyte abnormalities, overuse, or deconditioning of muscles, says Kelly Weselman, MD, a rheumatologist with WellStar Medical Group in Smyrna, Georgia.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may wonder if hand cramping has anything to do with your disease. The answer is that it very well could.

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Altered Ryr1 Ca2 + Release And The Progression Towards Arthritis

The reduction in specific force observed in both fast-twitch and slow-twitch skeletal muscle from rodents with arthritis, was preceeded by a substantial and significant increase in Ca2 + release over the whole range of stimulation frequencies in muscle from mice with arthritis as compared with control muscle . In fact, the free intracellular Ca2 + concentration was almost twice as high in muscle fibers from CIA mice than in control fibers at the higher stimulation frequencies . Caffeine is a potent RyR1 agonist, which is widely used in muscle research as an agent which increases Ca2 + release from SR and thereby increases myoplasmic free Ca2 + concentrations . In the presence of caffeine , there was no longer a difference in the Ca2 + release between muscle fibers from control mice or mice with arthritis . This indicates that the increased Ca2 + release was caused by facilitated RyR1 Ca2 + release and was not the result of more Ca2 + stored in SR in muscles from mice with RA.

Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Spine

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes destruction of joints in the body. The disease can occur in any joint in the body and is most commonly symptomatic in the small joints in the hands and feet. When rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints in the spine, it is far more common for the neck to be affected than for the lower back.

The most common form of arthritis in the back is osteoarthritis.

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Key Points About Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • RA is a long-term that causes joint inflammation.
  • RA can also affect many nonjoint areas such as the lungs, heart, skin, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and kidneys.
  • RA may cause deformities in the joints of the finger, making movement difficult.
  • The joints most often affected by RA are in the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, knees, shoulders, and elbows.
  • Symptoms may include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling decreased and painful movement bumps over small joints and fatigue or fever.

Can You Have Fibromyalgia And Ra

What causes arthritis in the foot and ankle, and how is it treated?

Though the conditions are unrelated, having RA may increase a persons likelihood of developing fibromyalgia.

An estimated 2030 percent of people with RA also have fibromyalgia. Researchers suggest that the chronic inflammation and pain associated with RA may make the nervous system hypersensitive over time, leading to fibromyalgia.

(Video) Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Fibromyalgia is more difficult to diagnose than RA because fibromyalgia is diagnosed by exclusion. A doctor will test for many other conditions that cause widespread pain, and if none are present, they may diagnose fibromyalgia.

A doctor will usually diagnose fibromyalgia if:

  • a person feels pain when the doctor applies pressure to the 1824 tender points associated with the condition
  • symptoms impact all four quadrants of the body
  • symptoms have lasted for at least 3 months without a break

Currently, no blood or laboratory tests are used to diagnose fibromyalgia. However, most doctors will order tests, to rule out other conditions, such as arthritis or infection.

If a doctor suspects RA, they will refer the person to a rheumatologist, who specializes in rheumatic conditions. There is no single way to diagnose RA, but the rheumatologist will likely use:

Personal and family medical history. Most people with RA have relatives with the condition, as well as chronic symptoms that impact both sides of the body, primarily the hands and feet.

Imaging tests. X-rays and MRI and ultrasound scans can help to determine if the joints have been damaged.

Recommended Reading: High Rheumatoid Factor Causes

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination the following factors:

  • Genetics
  • The environment
  • Hormones

Normally, the immune system protects the body from disease. In people who have rheumatoid arthritis, somethingpossibly infections, cigarette smoking, and physical or emotional stress, among other causestriggers the immune system to attack the joints .

Gender, heredity, and genes largely determine a person’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. For example, women are about three times more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

Methotrexate In Rheumatoid Arthritis

Methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis has been effectively used for more than a decade and has shown excellent results in achieving the removal of the main symptoms of the disease. The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis based on the drug group – metabolites, which have an antitumor effect and is aimed at suppressing the inflammatory processes, is good because methotrexate, which is the leading representative of this group, tends to accumulate directly in the joint tissue, which has a direct effect on the inflammatory process, suppressing all negative manifestations.

The drug methotrexate is very fast, the first positive results can be noticed already at the end of the third week of its administration. As with any medication, methotrexate has, in addition to indications for use, contraindications, individual intolerance and a number of limitations that should not be ignored.

The group of people who are contraindicated in methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis include patients suffering from all kinds of diseases of the blood, liver, stomach and duodenum , infectious diseases, both acute and chronic forms. A special group, when prescribing any medicines, are pregnant women and nursing mothers. For treatment during the period of variability and after childbirth should only pass through individual sparing schemes.

(Video) Prevalence of Functional Disability in Rheumatoid Arthritis

When taking methotrexate, in the absence of contraindications, one should not exclude the appearance of side effects, among which the most common are:

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How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Managed

You can manage rheumatoid arthritis by taking medicines as prescribed to treat pain and joint inflammation. You can also help reduce symptoms by exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. Aim to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. This can be at one time or broken up into shorter sessions.

You may also need to make changes at home to help you manage daily tasks like cleaning or gardening. An occupational therapist can help you make adjustments if pain or joint stiffness makes certain tasks hard to complete. They can recommend tools to reduce strain on your joints, such as long-handled dustpans so you dont need to bend over, or book holders to reduce the strain on your hands and wrists.

You might find that rheumatoid arthritis makes you frustrated and upset. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause poor sleep, which can also make you feel down. Discus your feelings with friends and family and explain to them what they can do to support you. This may help you feel better and reassured that help is available, if needed. If you are struggling with a low mood or not managing to sleep, your doctor will be able to support you and work with you to build a plan to help.

Are There Any Home Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Leg Pain - (2)

If someone has joint pain or stiffness, he or she may think it is just a normal part of getting older and that there is nothing he or she can do. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are several options for medical treatment and even more to help prevent further joint damage and symptoms. Discuss these measures with a health-care professional to find ways to make them work.

  • First of all, don’t delay diagnosis or treatment. Having a correct diagnosis allows a health-care professional to form a treatment plan. Delaying treatment increases the risk that the arthritis will get worse and that serious complications will develop.
  • Learn everything about rheumatoid arthritis. If there are any questions, ask a health-care professional. If any questions remain, ask the health-care professional to provide reliable sources of information. Some resources are listed later in this article.
  • Know the pros and cons of all of treatment options, and work with a health-care professional to decide on the best options. Understand the treatment plan and what benefits and side effects can be expected.
  • Learn about the symptoms. If someone has rheumatoid arthritis, he or she probably has both general discomfort and pain in specific joints. Learn to tell the difference. Pain in a specific joint often results from overuse. Pain in a joint that lasts more than one hour after an activity probably means that that activity was too stressful and should be avoided.

Increase physical activity.

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What Causes Peripheral Neuropathy In Ra

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the peripheral nerves running from the brain and spinal cord are damaged or destroyed. This damage prevents the nerves from properly transmitting nerve signals to the muscles, skin, and other parts of the body, resulting in symptoms like muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness. Several factors may cause a person with rheumatoid arthritis to develop peripheral neuropathy.

When The Fingers Are Abnormally Bent

Some disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and injuries can cause the fingers to bend abnormally. In swan-neck deformity, the joint at the base of the finger bends in , the middle joint straightens out , and the outermost joint bends in . In boutonnière deformity, the middle finger joint is bent inward , and the outermost finger joint is bent outward .

Swollen wrists can pinch a nerve and result in numbness or tingling due to carpal tunnel syndrome Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The cause of most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown… read more .

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Cysts, which may develop behind affected knees, can rupture, causing pain and swelling in the lower legs. Up to 30% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have hard bumps just under the skin , usually near sites of pressure .

  • X-rays

  • Examination of joint fluid

In addition to the important characteristic pattern of symptoms, doctors follow established criteria when evaluating a person for rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors suspect people have rheumatoid arthritis if they have more than one joint with definite swelling of the joint’s lining that is not caused by another disorder. Doctors diagnose people with rheumatoid arthritis if they have certain combinations of the following criteria:

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What Are The Warning Signs Of Arthritis

Pain from arthritis can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you’re moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body.

Your joints may feel stiff and be hard to move. You may find that it’s hard to do daily tasks you used to do easily, such as climbing stairs or opening a jar. Pain and stiffness may be more severe during certain times of the day or after you’ve done certain tasks.

Some types of arthritis cause swelling or inflammation. The skin over the joint may appear swollen and red and feel hot to the touch. Some types of arthritis can also cause fatigue.

What Is The Outlook For Rheumatoid Arthritis Rashes

Ankle Arthritis Treatment â Pain-free Walking Without Surgery by Seattle Podiatrist Larry Huppin

There are no permanent solutions that can completely prevent rheumatoid arthritis rashes from occurring. Doctors may try a combination of medications to help you manage your condition. These treatments may reduce inflammation and minimize joint damage.

Its important that people with RA take measures to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. Examples of healthy lifestyle practices that may benefit a person with rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Getting plenty of rest, which can help to reduce fatigue symptoms and minimize joint inflammation.
  • Exercising whenever possible, which can help to enhance joint mobility and build strong, flexible muscles.
  • Taking measures to cope with stress, such as meditation, reading, taking a walk, or doing other activities to promote relaxation.
  • Eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is important in supporting healthy joints.

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What Does Ra Feel Like

  • The usual symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are stiff and painful joints, muscle pain, and fatigue.
  • The experience of rheumatoid arthritis is different for each person.
  • Some people have more severe pain than others.
  • Most people with rheumatoid arthritis feel very stiff and achy in their joints, and frequently in their entire bodies, when they wake up in the morning.
  • Joints may be swollen, and fatigue is very common.
  • It is frequently difficult to perform daily activities that require use of the hands, such as opening a door or tying one’s shoes.
  • Since fatigue is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, it is important for people with rheumatoid arthritis to rest when necessary and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Systemic inflammation is very draining for the body.


Does rheumatoid arthritis hurt your legs? ›

Cysts, which may develop behind affected knees, can rupture, causing pain and swelling in the lower legs. Up to 30% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have hard bumps just under the skin (called rheumatoid nodules), usually near sites of pressure (such as the back of the forearm near the elbow).

What does RA feel like in legs? ›

You may have difficulty getting out of bed or walking in the morning because of stiff and painful ankles, knees, or feet. This stiffness is usually worse in the mornings and can last for 45 minutes or more. RA can also trigger swelling in the affected joints.

What helps rheumatoid arthritis in the legs? ›

  1. NSAIDs . Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. ...
  2. Steroids. Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, reduce inflammation and pain and slow joint damage. ...
  3. Conventional DMARDs . ...
  4. Biologic agents. ...
  5. Targeted synthetic DMARDs .
May 18, 2021

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect only one leg? ›

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory, symmetrical form of arthritis. Symmetry is the key determinant in diagnosing this autoimmune disease. However, a person may not have symptoms on both sides at the beginning of the disease. It will become symmetrical as the disease progresses.

What are the symptoms of arthritis in your legs? ›

  • Pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling.
  • Redness.
  • Decreased range of motion.
Sep 15, 2021

How quickly does rheumatoid arthritis spread? ›

Clinical History. The typical case of rheumatoid arthritis begins insidiously, with the slow development of signs and symptoms over weeks to months. Often the patient first notices stiffness in one or more joints, usually accompanied by pain on movement and by tenderness in the joint.

What is the best medication for rheumatoid arthritis pain? ›

Methotrexate is usually the first medicine given for rheumatoid arthritis, often with another DMARD and a short course of steroids (corticosteroids) to relieve any pain. These may be combined with biological treatments.
The DMARDs that may be used include:
  • methotrexate.
  • leflunomide.
  • hydroxychloroquine.
  • sulfasalazine.

What triggers rheumatoid arthritis flare ups? ›

RA flare-ups are caused by one or more triggers, including diet, stress, illness, weather changes, smoking, and overexertion. The most common signs of RA are joint pain and swelling, fatigue, and joint stiffness, especially in the morning and after sitting for long periods.

What triggers rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which means it's caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. However, it's not yet known what triggers this. Your immune system normally makes antibodies that attack bacteria and viruses, helping to fight infection.

What is the safest drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Methotrexate is widely regarded as one of the safest of all arthritis drugs, though it carries some potential downsides. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting are its most frequent side effects.

Can RA make it hard to walk? ›

Advanced rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can impair your walking ability and cause difficulties in your day-to-day activities. It is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the body's immune system attacks the healthy joints and surrounding tissue, causing them to swell.

What are 3 symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Signs and symptoms of RA include:
  • Pain or aching in more than one joint.
  • Stiffness in more than one joint.
  • Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint.
  • The same symptoms on both sides of the body (such as in both hands or both knees)
  • Weight loss.
  • Fever.
  • Fatigue or tiredness.
  • Weakness.

What is the blood test for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

An anti-CCP antibody test — also called an ACCP test or CCP-test — looks for the presence of these antibodies to help confirm rheumatoid arthritis. An anti-CCP test can also help doctors determine the severity of a rheumatoid arthritis case.

What is the most painful type of arthritis? ›

Rheumatoid arthritis can be one of the most painful types of arthritis; it affects joints as well as other surrounding tissues, including organs. This inflammatory, autoimmune disease attacks healthy cells by mistake, causing painful swelling in the joints, like hands, wrists and knees.

What are the signs that RA is progressing? ›

Signs Your RA Is Progressing

Flares that are intense or last a long time. Diagnosis at a young age, which means the disease has more time to become active in your body. Rheumatoid nodules -- bumps under your skin, often around your elbows. Active inflammation that shows up in tests of joint fluid or blood.

What is the most common cause of death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis? ›

The most common causes of death in RA patients were infectious diseases (20.5%), respiratory diseases (16%, mainly interstitial pneumonia and chronic obstructive lung diseases), and gastrointestinal diseases (14.7% chiefly perforation or bleeding of peptic ulcer).

Why are my legs constantly aching? ›

Most leg pain results from wear and tear, overuse, or injuries in joints or bones or in muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues. Some types of leg pain can be traced to problems in your lower spine. Leg pain can also be caused by blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation.

When should I be concerned about leg pain? ›

See your doctor as soon as possible if you have:

A leg that is swollen, pale or unusually cool. Calf pain, particularly after prolonged sitting, such as on a long car trip or plane ride. Swelling in both legs along with breathing problems. Any serious leg symptoms that develop for no apparent reason.

Does arthritis pain radiate down the leg? ›

Hip pain may sometimes radiate or be referred to the knee or lower in the leg. Pain in the lower limb(s) is usually associated with joint stiffness and makes daily activities hard to perform.

Where does rheumatoid arthritis usually start? ›

Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet. As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders.

How do I know if I have lupus or RA? ›

No one test can tell if you have RA or lupus. Instead, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and family history, do a physical exam, and order some lab and imaging tests. During the physical exam, your doctor will feel your joints to see if the swelling feels hard. If it does, it could mean you have osteoarthritis.

How do I know if it's osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Osteoarthritis tends to develop gradually over several years, as the joint cartilage wears away. Eventually the bones of your joints rub against each other. In contrast, the pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis can develop and worsen over several weeks or a few months.

Does rheumatoid arthritis show up on xray? ›

X-ray. Your doctor may order an X-ray—which uses electromagnetic radiation to produce images of the body—to assess the severity of joint destruction. Although this test is not useful in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, it can be used to monitor the progression of the disease.

Which is a late manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis? ›

This is end-stage RA, when joints no longer work. In end-stage RA, people may still experience pain, swelling, stiffness, and mobility loss. There may be reduced muscle strength. The joints may become destroyed, and the bones become fused together (ankylosis).

What is the newest treatment for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

The newest RA drugs to gain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval are called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. They work by blocking a very specific pathway to stop a person's immune system from creating certain enzymes that can lead to RA.

Is Voltaren Gel good for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Voltaren pain-relieving gel may also be used to help ease aching joints due to rheumatoid arthritis. Voltaren gel and other pain-relieving gels and creams may be a good option if you prefer to take less pain medication by mouth such as oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

What is the normal range for rheumatoid arthritis? ›

The normal range of RF is from 0-20 IU/ml. RF above 20 IU/ml is not considered enough to diagnose RA, as there other reasons the RF level may be elevated.

Does weather Affect rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Many rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have long believed that cold, damp conditions or changes in barometric pressure can aggravate their symptoms, which can include pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints.

What's worse rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis? ›

The two conditions can cause similar symptoms, but they have different causes and treatments. OA usually affects fewer joints, and its symptoms are generally limited to the joints. The progression of RA is more difficult to predict, and it can cause more widespread symptoms.

Is RA a disability? ›

The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers RA a disability if a person meets the following eligibility criteria: the person's condition is so severe that they will need to be out of work for 12 months or more. the person has gained enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits.

What are the five signs of rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Five signs of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stiffness. Waking up refreshed in the morning is the best way to start the day. ...
  • Chronic fatigue. If you've noticed joint stiffness with a decrease in energy, it may be time to give us a call. ...
  • Joint swelling. ...
  • Numbness and tingling. ...
  • Fever.

What does a rheumatoid arthritis flare up feel like? ›

A person with RA may feel intense pain in their joints during flares. This may feel like sustained pressure, a burning sensation, or a sharp pain. However, people with RA may also experience periods of remission when they feel few to no symptoms. In addition to causing pain in the joints, RA can affect the whole body.

What are usually the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Early signs
  • Fatigue. Before experiencing any other symptoms, a person with RA may feel extremely tired and lack energy. ...
  • Slight fever. Inflammation associated with RA may cause people to feel unwell and feverish. ...
  • Weight loss. ...
  • Stiffness. ...
  • Joint tenderness. ...
  • Joint pain. ...
  • Joint swelling. ...
  • Joint redness.


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