Rheumatoid arthritis is known for its notorious tendency of affecting the joints. Its main symptoms include joint stiffness in the morning that may last for a few hours and then disappear. This pain and stiffness can also occur after long hours of not involving the joints with anything. It is good to be aware what joints are affected by rheumatoid arthritis in order to distinguish it easily from other complications that might cause joint pain. When rheumatoid arthritis affects joints it is known as synovitis; this is because it affects the synovial membrane of the joints leading to joint pain, swelling pain and inflammation.
In most cases you will find that the first joints to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the wrists and the knuckles, however other joints can be affected as well and rheumatoid arthritis pain is associated with almost all body joints. It however depends with different patients how rheumatoid arthritis manifests itself in the body; in some people, it can start with wrist pain, in others the knuckles while still others will complain migratory joints pain. When rheumatoid arthritis pain starts, it might affect a particular joint today and tomorrow it affects another, in other cases it can be symmetrical where two same joint are affected at the same time for instance both wrists.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects all the body joints including the smallest joint that you might not think can be affected; these include even the joints found in the inner part of the ears. In some cases you might find tendons developing in the joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis and especially the hand joints; this leads to damage of the joints and therefore malfunctioning of the hands. It is always good to visit a rheumatologist for earlier check up in case you note the initial symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects most joints in the body but rarely affects the finger tips joints.
Hands joints are the most affected by rheumatoid arthritis and it causes a couple of damages to these joints. Other than stiffness, inflammation and pain, rheumatoid arthritis also causes ulnar deviation, wrist, fingers and thumb problems, contractures and swelling, if not treated early enough, this can lead to hand deformity. Joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis include the small joints of the hands, legs and the cervical spine; in other cases the bigger joints like the shoulders and the knees are also affected. The effects of rheumatoid arthritis on the affected joint is failure to function making the patient have a hard time doing small things for themselves. Walking also becomes a problem and you will find that most are the times the patient avoids doing anything involving the joints.
Once the doctor carries out tests to determine what joints are affected by rheumatoid arthritis, he puts the patient under treatment that will help reduce the effect of the disease or even spreading in other joints. You might find out that in other cases rheumatologist might recommend physical therapy to strengthen the joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis; these physical therapies can be guided by a therapist to avoid further damage of the joints.