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6 Signs Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Progressing

SELF discusses signs indicating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be progressing according to experts including HSS rheumatologist Karmela Kim Chan, MD.

According to Dr. Chan, pain is a good indicator of RA progression. “It’s especially telling if you start on medication and you get better, and then later on you start to develop pain again,” she said. For patients who change their habits or activities to accommodate their joints – for instance, avoiding clothes with buttons because they are unable to button them, these subtle behavior changes can also indicate RA progression. “You might think that [these changes] are not a big deal because you can easily adjust how you do things and feel fine, but you want to bring that to your doctor’s attention,” noted Dr. Chan.

If there is pain or tenderness in new joints, it is important that your doctor knows about any new joint symptoms, cited Dr. Chan. One of the ways your physician can monitor your RA is by counting how many swollen and tender joints you have during each visit, she explained. It’s a sign the disease has progressed whenever new joints are added to the list.

Looking at your joints can also help detect RA progression. There are various ways that the joints may look different. For example, your finger or wrist joints may deviate to the side and bend toward your pinky if you developed an ulnar deviation, cited Dr. Chan. It’s worth notifying your doctor any time your joints look different because these structural changes could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis progression, she added.

Read the full article at Self.com.