You probably associate arthritis with joint pain alone, but rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can cause a broad range of symptoms, including, potentially, a fever.
If you’re one of the 1.5 million people in the United States who lives with this disease, understanding why fever may occur may help you get the care and relief you need.
Our expert team at Houston Pain Specialists, led by board-certified pain management specialist Hui Kang, MD, aims to reduce your RA symptoms while keeping the condition from affecting your lungs, heart, and other organs.
Take a few minutes to learn more about rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, including what might fuel your fever and ways we can help.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to mistakenly attack tissues in your body. The chronic inflammation this causes can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as:
- Warm, tender, and swollen joints
- Joint stiffness, especially upon waking and after sitting still
- Appetite loss
Your joint symptoms may start in the small bones in your hands and feet, and then spread to other joints throughout your body. And all of your symptoms may stay fairly steady or intensify during periodic flare-ups.
Why rheumatoid arthritis causes a fever
The way your immune system reacts to healthy tissues can also affect your metabolism, which plays an important role in your body temperature. When RA increases your metabolism, kicking into higher gear in an attempt to fight something perceived as harmful, you can develop a fever.
If you have a fever under 101 F, know that it’s not uncommon nor something considered serious. If your fever spikes higher than that or you notice other symptoms like nausea and vomiting, contact our office.
Since fever can also stem from other conditions — some of which may make your RA symptoms worse — getting a proper diagnosis and any treatment you may need is important.
Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
Following your rheumatoid arthritis treatment plan can help keep your symptoms, including fever, to a minimum. Doing so may also lower your risk for complications, like fractures.
Depending on the specifics of your condition and overall health, your RA treatment plan may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone
- Occupational therapy
- Surgery to slow joint damage
- Heat or cold packs
- Appropriate exercise and a healthy diet
- Medial Branch Nerve Block of the spine
- Facet nerve block of the spine
- Rhizotomy or Radiofrequency Ablation of the spine
- Shoulder injection
- Sacroiliac joint injection
- Sacroiliac joint rhizotomy or radiofrequency ablation
- Sacraliliac joint fusion via minimally invasive approach
- Hip Injection
- Greater trochanter injection
- Knee injection
- Genicular nerve block for knee pain
- Genicular nerve rhizotomy or radiofrequency ablation
To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis symptoms or to get the care you need, contact our Houston, Texas, office today to schedule an appointment.