Joints ache and may be tender but have little or no swelling.
Pattern of joints that are affected
It often affects small and large joints on both sides of the body (symmetrical), such as both hands, both wrists or elbows, or the balls of both feet.
Symptoms often begin on one side of the body and may spread to the other side. Symptoms begin gradually and are often limited to one set of joints, usually the finger joints closest to the fingernails or the thumbs, large weight-bearing joints (hips, knees), or the spine.
Duration of morning stiffness
Morning stiffness lasts longer than 1 hour.
Morning stiffness lasts less than 1 hour. Stiffness returns at the end of the day or after periods of activity.
Presence of symptoms affecting the whole body (systemic)
Frequent fatigue and a general feeling of being ill are present.