Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that may significantly pain the joint and damage the body. In most cases, the joint damage that causes RA happens on both sides of the body. Hence, when a joint is affected in one of the human arms or legs, the same joint in the other leg or arm may be affected.
Most medical professionals distinguish RA from other forms of arthritis like OA by the functioning of both arms and legs. In some individuals, rheumatoid arthritis can affect parts of the body like the eyes, skin, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
It’s essential to treat rheumatoid arthritis once the signs are observed. Ensure that the doctor is consulted to avoid self-medication. This article reviews some of the common signs of rheumatoid arthritis:
Joint Stiffness and Decreased Range of Motion
Stiffness in one or more of the smaller joints in the body is a significant symptom of rheumatoid arthritis in the early stage. Note that joint stiffness may occur at any time in the day, and it is prominent in those that are not physically active and those that are active.
In most cases, the stiffness  starts in the joints of the hands and comes on slowly. Note that the stiffness may also come on suddenly and affect different joints within one or two days. Pain and inflammation follow joint stiffness, and it conventionally occurs in older adults.
Apart from rheumatoid arthritis, several other significant causes of joint stiffness include lupus, bursitis, bone cancer, and gout. Ensure that you consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis may experience inflammation in the joints that may cause the tendons and ligaments to become deformed or unstable. As the condition worsens, individuals may discover that they are unable to straighten some joints or bend.
It’s advised to increase regular exercise and engage in physical activities frequently. According to a study , it was discovered that a normal knee should be able to flex or bend between 133 and 153 degrees. Moreover, a normal knee should be able to extend so that it’s completely straight.