Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is another common form of arthritis.  RA causes inflammation of the lining of the joints, called the synovium, and sometimes, in other organs of the body.  Swelling, pain, stiffness and limited mobility result.  The disease can begin at any age, event early childhood, but the majority of people with RA have the onset of their disease in their 20s and 30s.  RA tends to strike women three times more often than men.

Rheumatoid arthritis generally affects the same joints on both sides of the body.  For example, both wrists may be affected, not just one wrist.  RA commonly affects the joints of the hand, elbows, shoulders, neck, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

A healthy diet, regular exercise and working cooperatively with health-care professionals are all important components in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.  If you have RA, joint protection is important, as many ordinary activities can cause pain and further damage to weakened joints.