The early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis are not always the easiest ones to spot. Thousands of other conditions can cause joint pain and swelling, which is a common symptom of RA. Overdoing certain types of physical activity may cause these signs as well. However, when the pain seems to be intermittent and has no common cause, it might be a clue that he or she suffers from the condition.
A person can easily miss the early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, but the condition is treatable, even if it cannot be cured. As with all auto-immune conditions, the body mistakes needed tissue for a pathogen. The linings between the joints wear away, eventually causing damage to the joints.
Because the body's own immune system causes this condition, a person may suspect something unusual is going on if he experiences joint pain, swelling, and a periodic fever. Depending on the severity, the fever and ongoing pain may or may not cause a patient to schedule an appointment with a doctor.
Noticing the early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis does not mean that a doctor will always diagnose the condition correctly. Firm nodules underneath the arm or legs may confirm that a patient has this condition, although the nodules themselves occur fairly late in the progress of the disease.
The exact cause of RA is unknown, although a person is more likely to get the disease if his mother or father suffered from it. Unlike osteoarthritis, the disease can strike at any age. Rheumatoid Arthritis is sometimes known as childhood Arthritis for this reason. Catching the early warning signs means a doctor can manage it before the damage to the joints becomes extensive. Extreme cases cause swelling in the arms or legs. Many people do not see a doctor before they experience this excessive swelling.