What Are The Signs & Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis? Four Early Warning Signs to Look Out For

A lot of people mistakenly believe that arthritis is only for the old. This leads to it going undiagnosed for a long time – surely it can’t be arthritis at such a young age? Wrong.

Arthritis can happen to anyone – half of those affected are actually under the age of 65. Both men and women are affected by the disease – but it does affect more women generally. Rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects the joints – it’s referred to as being an inflammatory type of arthritis.


Early signs and symptoms of arthritis can be unclear and confusing for you to begin with – but it’s important that you listen to what your body is telling you. Learning and identifying early signs can lead to you getting help as soon as possible.

Morning Aches

Everyone wakes up feeling a little stiff, a feeling that usually disappears once you get up and start walking around. However, some people experience the aching feeling for a lot longer, which could be a sign that something else is wrong.

If you wake up and are unable to move for longer than 30 minutes, it’s possible that you’re experiencing an early sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Some people describe being unable to move for hours after waking up – this definitely isn’t something that should be ignored.


Chronic tiredness could be a sign of a number of different medical conditions – including rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re feeling tired all of the time, to the extent that you just can’t get through the day without almost falling asleep, it’s time to pay attention.  With rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue often comes with a number of other symptoms, including loss of appetite and a fever that lasts longer than your average flu.

If you experience these signs of flu, along with tiredness and stiffness of the joints, it’s a pretty clear indication that you could be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.


Painful Hands

An early sign of rheumatoid arthritis includes losing fine motor skills – mainly when it comes to using your hands.  You may find yourself struggling with easy tasks such as holding a knife and fork, buttoning up your shirt or putting a bobble into your hair.

Joints in the hands tend to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis the most – making daily activities a chore to complete. The knuckles tend to be the area affected the most – something worth looking out for when self diagnosing.

Difficulty Walking Up Stairs

Just like we discussed with everyday tasks involving your hands, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect simple tasks like walking up the stairs. If you feel pain when bending your knees, mainly when going up or down stairs, this could be a real warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

The knee is considered as being the largest joint in the human body. Therefore, when it gets inflamed, it affects a lot of what you do daily – simple tasks become impossible.

Young woman walking up stairs

If you have a persistent pain – you should not ignore it. Don’t assume that the pain will go away with time – it’s worth seeking out medical advice from a professional.

If you would like some more information on arthritis, including information on how certain surgical procedures can actually prevent the onset of the disease – please don’t hesitate to contact us.

As well as being specialists in knee and hip surgery in London, we also perform other medical procedures that are more directly linked to arthritis. Give us a call on 07943 947 639 and we will be more than happy to discuss this in more detail with you.

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