Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Signs
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Although rheumatoid arthritis can have many different symptoms, joints are always affected. Rheumatoid arthritis almost always affects the joints of the hands (such as the knuckle joints), wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and/or feet. The larger joints, such as the shoulders, hips, and jaw, may be affected. The vertebrae of the neck are sometimes involved in people who have had the disease for many years. Usually at least two or three different joints are involved on both sides of the body, often in a symmetrical (mirror image) pattern. The usual joint symptoms include the following:
These symptoms may keep someone from being able to carry out normal activities. General symptoms include the following:
The symptoms usually come on very gradually, although in some people they come on very suddenly. Sometimes, the general symptoms come before the joint symptoms, and an individual may think he or she has the flu or a similar illness.
The following conditions suggest that rheumatoid arthritis is quiet, referred to as "in remission":
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/17/2015
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