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Do I have rheumatoid arthritis?

Q: I have osteoarthritis, which was diagnosed about 3 years back. Since then I have been taking Calcium (500 mg) along with Rejoint. Occasionally, I take Nimulid when the pain is severe. Inspite of taking the above mentioned medicines, my joints are getting affected even more. Since about last two months, I am having a problem in my right shoulder, wrist joints and my knuckle joints. Also, I have pain in my ribs. I want to know whether its due to arthritis and are these symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? What precautions should I take so that it does not aggravate?

A:I think you should go back to your physician or preferably, a rheumatologist for a review. Typically, rheumatoid arthritis tends to cause stiffness in the joints in the morning, which lasts more than one hour. The wrist and knuckle joints look swollen and they are tender to touch or pressure. Osteoarthritis usually does not affect the finger joints except the terminal joints (just before the nails), where hard nodular swelling may appear. Moreover, the morning stiffness in osteoarthritis is typically brief- may be 5-10 minutes and quickly eases off after assuming physical activity.

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