In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks its own tissue, including joints. In severe cases, it attacks internal organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects joint linings, causing painful swelling. Over long periods of time, the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.
While there's no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, physiotherapy and medication can help slow the disease's progression. Most cases can be managed with a class of medications called anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS)
Consult a doctor for medical advice
Sources: Mayo Clinic and others.
More than 200,000 US cases per year
Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured
Requires a medical diagnosis
Lab tests or imaging always required
Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong