Whether you lead an active or sedentary lifestyle, some aches and pains are inevitable. While minor pain in your hands or wrist is not necessarily cause for concern, you should see a healthcare professional if you experience prolonged pain. Also, it's important to know the warning signs for certain conditions, like wrist and hand arthritis. Here are four early warning signs and what you should do.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that results in chronic joint inflammation in the fingers and hands. If left untreated, RA can cause permanent damage. It's important to know the early signs so you can get treatment right away to manage pain and prevent further damage.

RA Symptoms

● Joint pain, swelling or stiffness
● Fatigue
● Loss of range of motion (ROM) in wrist, fingers or hands
● Fever

RA Treatment

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should go see your doctor immediately. Heat therapy may also help with the pain.

The first step in RA treatment is to aggressively target the pain and then to try to work towards remission (no signs or symptoms).

Managing RA

The pain associated with RA may be enough to prevent you from working or normal functioning, at least until you get it under control. Your doctor can work with you on a treatment plan that helps you get back to your normal, everyday activities. He or she may also recommend a brace to provide mobility and joint support and to help with the pain. The best thing you can do is attack RA early, so make sure to see a doctor if you notice any of the early signs and symptoms. You may still have occasional inflammation flare ups, but you should be able to manage this pain and return to your normal activities and lifestyle.