What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like?

Let’s face it, aches and pain are annoying. But thankfully, most of them are occasional and usually occur as we age. But knowing “what does arthritis feel like?” is important, especially if you’re feeling joint pain and stiffness in different body parts. This will help you get timely treatment, as early treatment always has positive outcomes.

Did you know persistent joint pain and stiffness can be signs of rheumatoid arthritis? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this condition affects more than 54 million adults in the United States. The symptoms of arthritis include aching, grinding, dull, or throbbing pain in joints. Continue reading as this guide will address, “What does arthritis feel like?” So, let’s get started!

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This causes pain in your joints and different body parts. Primarily, RA impacts the feet and hands. But it can also affect larger joints like elbows and knees. Moreover, it can produce a variety of other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing and joint stiffness.

With that said, now let’s see what patients suffering from it say about what rheumatoid arthritis feels like.

What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes Pain In The Joints
Initially, RA affects small joints of your body. But it gradually spreads to larger joints. In most cases, patients feel pain on both sides of the body. This symmetry in causing pain in multiple joints is unique to RA. For instance, patients with rheumatoid arthritis feel pain in both left and right knee, hand, hip, shoulder, and wrist and in the neck and fingers.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you can experience mild to moderate or even severe joint pain. Sometimes, it can feel like you have a broken bone. You can also feel pain in some areas of your body by only touching them.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes Stiffness In The Joints
Besides feeling pain, RA causes stiffness in joints. You might feel difficulty getting out of bed or walking because of a painful and stiff neck, knees, feet, hips, and ankles. The stiffness is worse in the mornings and can last for 45 minutes or more.

Furthermore, RA can also cause swelling in the affected joints –making you feel physically exhausted.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Result In Low Energy
Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause low energy, especially when you have trouble sleeping because of the pain. Having enough sleep may still make you feel like you’re fatigued. 8 out of 10 RA patients have reported that they feel tired even after having enough sleep. This is most common in RA patients with conditions like obesity, headaches, and depression.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Cause Shortness of Breath
Most people believe rheumatoid arthritis can only cause joint pain. However, this is not it. RA can also affect the lungs. This is because persistent inflammation can cause scarring in your lungs. This, in turn, results in a chronic dry cough and shortness of breath. In some cases, RA patients also develop abnormal lung tissue because of persistent inflammation.

Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause Itchy skin
When RA affects your skin, you may develop lumps of tissue in your skin. Moreover, you may get a rash due to inflammation in/around the blood vessels.

People with RA may also get eye-related problems due to eye inflammation. Its symptoms include dry eyes, light sensitivity, pain, redness, and blurry vision.

When To See A Doctor?
Now that you know what rheumatoid arthritis pain feels like in different body parts. If you feel any of these symptoms, visit Rheumatology Care of North Houston. Our team is dedicated to diagnose, treat, and long-term manage rheumatic diseases like arthritis. Schedule your appointment now since early intervention always yields the best results.

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