8 Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

8 Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis in the hand, typically affecting the wrist and knuckles. However, this type of arthritis can affect the entire body. Here are 8 signs that you may have rheumatoid arthritis:
  1. Pain
  2. Soft lump on the back of the hand
  3. Creaky joints
  4. Fingers shifting away from the thumb
  5. Swelling and inflammation, sometimes making the fingers look like sausages
  6. Stiff fingers
  7. Bent middle finger or finger tips
  8. Over-extended middle joint of the finger
As with all types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints. In arthritis, the cartilage in the joints breaks down, making it difficult for the joints to move smoothly. Sometimes, it's caused by simple wear and tear as we get older. Other times, it can be the result of an injury. Regardless, rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating in the hands.

So, what do you do if you think you have rheumatoid arthritis? The answer is to visit a hand surgeon as soon as possible to diagnose your condition. It's always important to seek treatment as soon as possible, or you may be risking permanent symptoms.

Your hand specialist will examine your hands, ask you some questions, and may take x-rays or request other lab tests. Typically, rheumatoid arthritis is treated with medication. Other treatment options, including cortisone shots and surgery may be used in specific cases. You and your doctor will decide the best treatment plan for you.
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