Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Wrists

By Jennifer Eblin

  • Overview

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes extreme pain, swelling and tenderness in the joints. When patients suffer from the condition in their wrists, they often exhibit symptoms in this area. They feel pain and tenderness in the fingers and wrists along with other symptoms.
  • Joint Pain

    Joint pain is one of the more common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the wrists. Many of the patients diagnosed with this condition claimed to feel some level of pain in their wrists, especially in the joint. The pain intensifies when they use their hands and wrists more ofte, such as when they use the computer or type frequently. There are some patients who experience a high level of pain, while others experience only a dull throbbing pain.
  • Joint Swelling

    Swelling in the joints is one symptom identified by those with rheumatoid arthritis. This swelling is sometimes found early on, but it's also found in later cases when the patient experiences a flare up of the arthritis. The swelling usually occurs in the bend between the arm and hand, which can make performing even simple tasks extremely difficult and in some cases impossible. When the swelling becomes more pronounced, it can even lead to pain and redness of the hands.


  • Tenderness

    Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis exhibit tenderness in their wrists and hands. This is especially prevalent with those who have arthritis in those joints. The tenderness exists early on prior to the condition being diagnosed and after the person has a flare up. Doctors will often identify this symptom by touching the wrist and noting the patient's reaction. The wrists are often quite tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness

    Stiffness is often associated with rheumatoid arthritis. In patients with this condition in their wrists, they often find the stiffness in the early mornings and in periods when they don't use their hands. For example, they may find that their wrists feel stiff when they wake up from a nap or after sitting and not moving for a few hours. The stiffness may last for 30 minutes or longer, but in some cases the feeling disappears when the sufferer stretches out the joints and muscles.
  • Redness/Puffiness

    Redness and puffiness are sometimes found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in their wrists. These symptoms are often found in the wrists, fingers and other joints surrounding the hands. The two symptoms are closely related because as the joints swell and become puffy, the color changes to a red or dark pink. This is usually associated with tenderness and may cause some pain. These symptoms usually appear during an arthritis flare-up and as the condition worsens.
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