Rheumatoid Arthritis | Symptoms


What are the symptoms of RA?

Symptoms of RA may include one or more of the following:

  • Painful and swollen joints, especially in your hands, feet and knees
  • Difficulty moving joints
  • Stiffness and pain in affected joints (especially after sleeping)
  • Fever
  • Red, puffy hands
  • Fatigue
  • Hard bumps (called rheumatoid nodules) just under the skin near the joints
  • Loss of appetite

How can I tell if I have RA?

The hands, wrists, feet and knees are usually the first joints affected. RA usually affects several joints at the same time, on both sides of your body. For example, both of your wrists may be painful and stiff. Over time, it may also affect larger joints, such as your jaw, shoulders and hips.


Diagnosis and Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis by JA Rindfleisch, D Muller (American Family Physician September 15, 2005, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20050915/1037.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 03/06