Is Your RA Pain Symmetrical?

We often notice valuable discussions taking place within our community forums or Facebook page that we like to highlight as a part of our Headlines. Below is a discussion on the symmetry of RA pain that we thought our community members would find interesting. Please note that the opinions represented here are solely those of their authors.

Community Question-Does everyone hurt on both sides at the same time or can you have pain in your left knee and not your right one? I have been told that my left knee, of which I have had 2 previous surgeries on unrelated to RA, can not hurt more then my right one. Can the left one hurt and swell up more then the right one because it has been compromised?

Response from Mariah Z. Leach:

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Generally RA pain is symmetrical, meaning that if one side is affected the other side is usually also affected. However, that has not always been my personal experience. My right knee tends to give me more trouble than my left, and my right shoulder hurts sometimes while my left one rarely does. Conversely, I have more trouble with my left toes than my right ones. So I have to admit that it can be confusing to figure out the source of these pains! But my conclusion is, at least for me, RA pain is not always symmetrical!

Response from Andrew Lumpe:

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My experience is much like Mariah’s. While generally symmetrical, I’ve found that one side may flare and get damage. Only later down the road may the other side join the “party”. There can also be a situation where you have one hurt joint, say the right elbow, and you start overusing the left elbow to make up for it.

Tell us – Is your RA-related pain always symmetric?

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