Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting joints
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is long-term disease. Its symptoms can come and go, and it’s different for each person. Some people have long periods when their disease isn’t active. They have few or no symptoms during this time. Others feel it for months at a time.
Stiffness. The joint is harder to use and doesn't move as well as it should. It’s especially common in the morning. While many people with other forms of arthritis have stiff joints in the morning, it takes people with rheumatoid arthritis more than an hour (sometimes several hours) before their joints feel loose.
Swelling: Fluid enters the joint and makes it puffy.
Pain: Inflammation inside a joint makes it sensitive and tender. Over time, it causes damage and pain.
Redness and warmth: The joints may be warmer and more pink or red than skin around it.
RA almost always affects the hands, but it can strike any joint, including the knees, wrists, neck, shoulders, elbows, feet, hips, even the jaw. There is usually a symmetrical pattern -- the same joints on both sides of the body, like both wrists and both hips.
The main treatment goals with rheumatoid arthritis are to control inflammation and slow or stop down RA.
Treatment usually includes medications, occupational or physical therapy, and regular exercise. Some people need surgery to correct joint damage. Early, aggressive treatment is key to good results. And with today’s treatments, joint damage can be slowed or stopped in many cases.