What does Rheumatoid arthritis look like?


What is rheumatoid?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes chronic inflammation. Your immune system attacks the tissues of your body and causes pain in your joints. RA can cause severe damage to the joints if it is not treated.

Rheumatoid arthritis can manifest in many different ways. However, the most obvious signs are found in the hands and feet. There are many types of arthritis, and each one can affect different joints with different severity.

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Diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, computed tomography scans (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) allow doctors to examine your joints and determine any damage.

How does rheumatoid-arthritis look?

  • Hands

The hands are the most obvious sign of RA. The hands can become stiff and painful, particularly in the morning due to swelling of the wrists and knuckle joints.

Chronic inflammation can lead to fingers twisting in an outward direction. This can affect fine motor skills. Advanced cases of RA can cause permanent changes in the shape of the hands and affect quality of life.

RA symptoms can often be controlled with proper treatment. To prevent joint damage, treatment focuses on relieving inflammation.

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These may include injections, medications and splinting for hands and fingers. The splinting is designed to support the joints, but should not be worn for too much as it can cause muscle damage. These treatments may not work. You may need surgery.

More than 90% of those with RA experience symptoms in their foot and ankle. Inflammation can cause damage to your ligaments and tissues, which can lead to the ankle and back being out of alignment.

It can be difficult to walk on uneven surfaces, hills, or stairs if the ankle and heel aren’t moving properly. Malalignment can cause pain outside the foot due to inflammation of the heel and ankle. You can get an insert to reduce pressure and an ankle brace that supports your joints.

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Mitte of the foot

The ligaments and cartilage in the foot can become weaker over time. This could lead to the collapse or arch of your foot. Flat feet cause the foot to shift.

People with RA may develop calluses, corns, and bony bumps around the ball of their feet. These can cause pain and make it difficult to find comfortable shoes. The arch can be improved with special shoe inserts.

Front of the foot

The arch can cause pressure to the toes, and the foot’s front will point outward when it falls. The big toe may be crossed over if the toes are twisted.

Many people suffering from RA experience calluses, bunions, and claw toes. Pain throughout the foot is caused by the combination of problems at the ankle and toes.


Rheumatoid nodules are a common form of RA in people with RA. These are small, hard lumps under the skin that form near inflamed joints.

Other joints

RA can affect any joint of the body. Inflammation can cause pain, deformity and dysfunction at any site, including the hips, spine, elbows and sternum.

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If you have RA, it is important to tell your doctor about any pain you feel. This will allow them to begin the appropriate treatment.

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