Recognising the symptoms of RA Sources of further Information

Rheumatoid arthritis is a common condition which affects 1 in 100 people. Although the public perception of the disease is that it affects only the elderly this is not the case – it affects people across the age spectrum and can even affect children.

In patients with rheumatoid arthritis the joints become painful and swollen and can feel warm. Typical joints to be affected at the beginning of the illness include the joints of the fingers, the wrists and the toes. However, any joint can be affected. In addition to experiencing joint pain, people often feel very tired and stiff, something which can be particularly troublesome in the mornings when they wake up. Please click on the pictures below to see some examples of how RA can effect the joints.

Thumb pain
Hand pain
Arthritis hand
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Highly effective treatments are now available for rheumatoid arthritis but they are most effective if started within the first few months of the onset of symptoms. Not all patients who develop joint symptoms go on to develop rheumatoid arthritis but if you do develop the symptoms described above it is important that you seek help from your GP who may then decide to refer you to a specialist in arthritis (a Rheumatologist).

Detailed information about rheumatoid arthritis can be found at

Arthritis Research UK -
National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society -


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