A condition in which chronic inflammation affects the small joints in the hands and feet is known as rheumatoid arthritis. The condition has an effect on the lining of the joints leading to painful swelling that can result into bone erosion and joint deformity.
It is an autoimmune disorder which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of your own body. Besides causing joint problems, the condition sometimes affect other organs of the body like, skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels.
Although rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age but it usually begins after age 40. The condition is more common in females.
Although the condition cannot be cured, use of medication can reduce inflammation in the joints which can relieve the pain and prevent damage to the joints. Some occupational and physical therapies can help you learn measures to prevent joint damage. If the joints are severely damaged by rheumatoid arthritis, a surgery may be needed.
There are many drugs that have been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, these have potential serious side effects. Medications with the minimum side effects are diagnosed first. But a stronger drug or a combination of drugs may be needed if the disease progresses.
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