What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like?

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edited September 2016 in Awareness

Rheumatoid Arthritis article: What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like?What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel Like?

"I was curious to see how others living with RA would explain how it feels." How patients answer the question, "What does rheumatoid arthritis feel like?"

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  • Mariah, Love the metaphor "Pebble in your shoe". You nailed it. Thank You.
  • I really liked the pebble in your shoe comparison as well. So much hit home when reading how other people describe how RA affects them. Great way to put the point across.
  • Thank you for writing this. I have searched all over for an accurate explanation to share with my nearest and dearest without sounding as if I'm complaining. It is what it is I suppose, but helpful that you've provided a place that is so difficult to articulate. Live your legacy.
  • I would agree that this description starts to explain it. However, I would argue that it is like 4 pebbles, 3 in 1 shoe and 1 in the other. This is because as you favor the one foot to keep the pebble from digging in too badly the pebble in the other shoe takes on a greater burden. The right may feel better but the left is more painful or more injured because of the choices you and pain make to relieve the #1 pebble. Also, just because 1 symptom is the one you are focusing on does not mean there isn't pain in 2 or even more other places simultaneously... plus the emotion pain and frustration of brain fog!
  • Good metaphor. RA is difficult to live with but I also have fibromyalgia to make matters worse. I am battling a flare with both right now. I've been on prednisone since 1998 and cannot get off without triggering a flare. I am doing a prednisone burst right now starting at 20mg. and pulsing back down to 5mg., my regular dose. Prednisone has created a buffalo hump at the back of my neck and a big stomach. Oh the joys of RA and treatment. I just wish they could find a cure for these autoimmune diseases. It would be nice to be able to have a better quality of life!!
  • I have always described the pain as the worst toothache pain, which is sometimes constant. Yet, with all of the comments I have read, I see that we may each feel pain in a different way.
  • RobRob Member
    59. Proud & stubborn. Thanks to great genetics and and realizing somewhere in my early 40s that nutrition and a healthy lifestyle was the way to go I made it 50 years or so feeling pretty damn good. Only 18 months into RA diagnosis but can trace it back 8+ years of justifying how I felt as "getting older". I can't even begin to imagine how those who have suffered most of their life with RA have dealt it it. Having always been a "high motor guy" in a very physically demanding job I'm struggling with the fatigue more than anything...I am so tired, regardless of the amount of "rest" I manage to get. I know all those who see this understand that I am tired of being tired. I realize constant, chronic pain does that to me, the toothache comment really strikes home.. Also struggling with the " you don't look sick" attitude most people have with me...until I realize how fortunate I am not to have the horrible pain and obvious physical deformities some of you have. Wish you all as much peace as possible.
  • I told my doctor that the stiffness hits like rickamoris it makes you zombielike, & if untreated you just get stiffer until you can barely walk. I've ended up in the emergency room due to a flare up.
  • Enjoyed your article and can relate to all the quotes you used from other RA sufferers. I've had RA for over 15 years and just started Rituxan infusions. And you're right....you never know what morning may bring. I pray for your health and happiness.
  • dframedframe Member
    I started a program, the Paddison Program, in May and it has changed my life. I was in so much pain and the swelling in my hands, fingers, shoulders, etc. was excruciating. In my mind, I had nothing to lose by trying this program. In a short two months, the pain and swelling in my joints is nonexistent. My goal is to come off the Prednisone and Plaquinil that I am on now. If you have RA, I say give it a try. I can now imagine my future without pain as opposed to being so consumed by pain daily that I couldn't see my future. I wish good health to you all.
  • Beth58Beth58 Member
    Rob's comment from October 2016 is the closest to my RA experience I've read. Diagnosed a year ago after long term complaints to my doctor about extreme fatigue. I rarely feel rested and well. I also have osteoarthritis in my low back and neck, so between that and the RA, I feel like I got hit by a truck. I too struggle with others expectations of being well because I don't look sick. The energy it takes to get through a work week is monumental. Then my whole weekend can be spent trying to recuperate. I find it difficult to deal with RA because there isn't a "map" that tells me what to expect and when. The more I read, the more unsettled I feel. I can't get a grasp of what will happen so it's so hard to work out my emotions and plan my future. When my doctor asks if I am have any questions, I can't figure out what to ask anymore because she always says there isn't a straight line of progression - it's different for everyone. How does anyone out there deal? I could use some examples!
  • This is a condition that is very serious. When I first started hurting I just thought I was just over working myself at work lifting heavy boxes and long standing at work. Then I noticed that the pain would never go away no matter what I had taken to relieve my aching joints and stiff hands. My body ached like someone had beat on me with a hammer stiff knees and pain all over my body. My fingers started to take a form and always remained stiff. So I showed my doctor one day at a visit, she didn't like the form of my hands so she did blood work on me. That's when she informed me that I had RA. Well I knew I had something because the pain don't never go away I take so many meds that some times my system can't handle them and I throw them back up. This is something I wouldn't want my worst enemy to have the pain is so unbearable. So when your body hurt to no controlling it have yourself checked out.
  • I was diagnosed with RA 5 months ago. I get lots of pain in my joints but most of my flares are in my heart and lungs. It hurts so much it's hard to breathe and after the pain subsides to were I can breathe again. My muscle hurt so bad that I can't move or another flare will happen. It's really scary cause this is how my father in law died. He had the same thing as I do. RA is no fun and being tired all the time sucks even more when you have small kids. I wish you all the best.
  • @dframe
    What is the Paddison Program?
  • I don't know if this is what I have .I am 75 and recently took on a night job after the third week my fingers hurt at night and my upper thigh has a lot of pain nothing seams to help also my left. Foot hurts on top help any one

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