Dynamic optical imaging is increasingly applied to clinically relevant areas such as brain and cancer imaging. In this approach, some external stimulus is applied and changes in relevant physiological parameters (e.g., oxy- or deoxyhemoglobin concentrations) are determined. The advantage of this approach is that the prestimulus state can be used as a reference or baseline against which the changes can be calibrated. Here we present the first application of this method to the problem of characterizing joint diseases, especially effects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the proximal interphalangeal finger joints. Using a dual-wavelength tomographic imaging system together with previously implemented model-based iterative image reconstruction schemes, we have performed initial dynamic imaging case studies on a limited number of healthy volunteers and patients diagnosed with RA. Focusing on three cases studies, we illustrated our major finds. These studies support our hypothesis that differences in the vascular reactivity exist between affected and unaffected joints.