Recognizing the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis differs from osteoarthritis, in that it is not caused by wear and tear but is instead an autoimmune disease. With rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the joints, causing pain and, when left untreated, deformity and disability. Early treatment can delay and even prevent joint damage, so if you experience the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in Marietta, consult an orthopaedic doctor right away.

For many people, the first symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is painful joints that may also feel warm and swollen. Unlike with other types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms typically appear on both sides of the body. Patients may also have morning stiffness that persists for hours, fatigue, weight loss, and bumps under the skin. The disease starts in the small joints, including the toes and fingers, and then progresses to causing knee pain, hip pain, and pain throughout the body. An orthopaedic doctor can help minimize the pain of damaged joints with steroid injections and other pain management techniques.

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