How to know if I have rheumatoid arthritis

To identify rheumatoid arthritis, it is necessary to observe the presence of symptoms such as pain and difficulty in moving the joints. These symptoms can appear at any stage of life, but they are more common after the age of 40 and can manifest in any joint, the places most affected by arthritis being the hands, feet and also the knees.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

If you think you may have rheumatoid arthritis, select your symptoms:

  • 1. Pain in the joints symmetrically (on both sides of the body)
  • 2. Swelling and redness in one or more joints
  • 3. Difficulty moving the joint
  • 4. Decreased strength at the site of the affected joint
  • 5. Joint pain that is worse after waking up

So when a person has arthritis in their hands it is common to have symptoms such as pain and difficulty opening and closing their hands and lack of strength in their hands that can be observed when trying to hold a glass of water or opening the door handle.

Symptoms that may indicate advanced rheumatoid arthritis may be:

  • Severe pain and swelling in the joint;
  • Sensation of burning or redness;
  • Stiffness in the affected joint, especially upon waking and
  • Nodes may appear under the skin.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune orthopedic disease, where cartilage, ligaments and bones deteriorate over time. See also the symptoms of Rheumatism in the bones .

What to do if rheumatoid arthritis is suspected

When the person suspects that he / she has rheumatoid arthritis because he / she has the symptoms mentioned above, he / she should go to the orthopedist so that he can observe the joints, his general health condition and order tests such as x-rays or magnetic resonance to observe the extent and severity of the injury.

The doctor can also indicate the use of medicines to relieve pain and inflammation and indicate physiotherapy to improve well-being, decrease pain and restore function, in addition to preventing deformities from settling. Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, it should be treated because if it is not treated, there may be a progressive worsening of the injury, which makes the patient’s life more difficult and may generate dependencies on others.

How To Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

What you can do at home to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis is to dip the sore joint in warm water, moving it slowly, allowing the warm water to work for about 15 to 20 minutes.

In case of arthritis in the knees it is advisable to avoid standing more than 1 hour on foot or walking long distances. A good strategy is to place a towel soaked in warm water on your knees or use a gel pad that you can buy at the pharmacy.

In any case, physiotherapy is always indicated because it has resources that can bring pain relief and improve function, and can be performed daily or according to the patient’s need and financial condition. See how the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in pregnancy should be .

What happens if you don’t treat rheumatoid arthritis

Complications related to rheumatoid arthritis that can arise when it is not treated can be:

  • The deformity of the affected areas;
  • The progressive loss of joint functions;
  • Rupture of tendons and ligaments;
  • Spine instability, when the joints of the spine, hips, knees or ankles are affected.

When identifying any symptoms mentioned above, the individual should seek an orthopedist to initiate the appropriate treatment, which includes medication and physical therapy. Physical therapy exercises can be done at home and are an excellent help to relieve symptoms, check out some examples: Exercises for arthritis .

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