RA Symptoms Without Positive Blood Tests

Question

I am 41 and have symptoms of RA though it does not show in my blood reports.I have pain and swelling in my fingers especially the right hand..it lasts for half an hour untll i take a hot water bath. I am on medication. Can physiotherapy help..please let me know an effective treatment as I am afraid of going into a depression .

Answer

Without a thorough examination and blood work it is impossible to  make a diagnosis.  Remember you do not have to have a positive rheumatoid factor in your blood work to have RA, but you do have to meet some other criteria.  You should start with your primary care doctor to determine if a referral to rheumatology is appropriate.  Remember , even if this is RA, they are many effective treatments available.

Victoria Ruffing, RN

About Victoria Ruffing, RN

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of our patient care team.