What is rheumatoid arthritis?
RA pain may be a sign your joints are under attack.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling,
and loss of function in the joints. It occurs when your immune system, the system
that protects your body from outside harm, mistakenly starts attacking healthy tissue.
This causes inflammation that leads to swelling in the joints, making them progressively
less and less mobile. If not managed properly, over time, RA can cause joint damage—and
can even result in permanent joint destruction. And keep you from doing the things you love.
RA joint damage can start early.
Researchers studying RA now believe that it begins to damage bones during the first year
or two that a person has the disease. In addition, a study has found that more than 50% of patients with RA had joint damage on X-ray two years after disease symptoms began.
This is why early diagnosis is very important—so you and your rheumatologist can determine the
best rheumatoid arthritis management plan for you.