3. Chronic Inflammation
“Flare-ups” or a periodic increase in inflammation is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation says. Here is how inflammation can look in different areas of the body with RA:
- Eyes. Dryness, pain, redness, sensitivity to light and impaired vision
- Mouth. Dryness and gum irritation or infection
- Skin. Rheumatoid nodules – small lumps under the skin over bony areas
- Lungs. Inflammation and scarring that can lead to shortness of breath
- Blood Vessels. Inflammation of blood vessels that can lead to damage in the nerves, skin and other organs
- Blood. Anemia, a lower than normal number of red blood cells
4. Poor Range of Motion
Less mobile than years before? Can’t seem to reach for the top shelf without difficulty? These range-of-motion issues—when accompanied with pain—often point to arthritis, experts say.
5. Redness and Rash
Though rare, in some cases, redness and rash may present itself, pointing to a condition called “psoriatic arthritis.” Red, flaky, and scaly in appearance, this inflammatory condition is incurable (but treatable) and may cause flares of joint pain, stiffness, and swelling – especially in the morning hours. Even mild skin psoriasis can have a significant degree of arthritis, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says.
Fortunately for sufferers, treatments like prescribed medications can reduce inflammation. Steroid injections and joint replacement surgery are also common remedies.