Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) involves inflammation in the lining of the joints and/or other internal organs. RA typically affects many different joints. It is typically chronic, which means it lasts a long time, and can be a disease of flare-ups.

RA is a systemic disease that affects the entire body and is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is characterized by the inflammation of the membrane lining the joint, which causes pain, stiffness, warmth, redness and swelling. The inflamed joint lining, the synovium, can invade and damage bone and cartilage. Inflammatory cells release enzymes that may digest bone and cartilage. The involved joint can lose its shape and alignment, resulting in pain and loss of movement.

Symptoms include inflammation of joints, swelling, difficulty moving and pain. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, fever, loss of energy, and anemia.

Source: Arthritis Foundation®