Is the inflammation of joints, coupled with stiffness and pain. It can vary in its intensity from mild all the way through to excruciating and can affect any joint within the body. In its most severe form the arthritis can cause a joint or joints to become misshapen and deformed.
Typically begins in middle age is by far the most common form of arthritis. As the cartilage (cushioning and protective connective tissue within the joint) wears down, the body is unable to replace it and through constant, repeated use gets thinner and thinner. This will eventually result in the bones of the joint rubbing together, causing greater pain, discomfort and inflammation of the joint.
It is considered a degenerative disorder affecting the weight bearing and high usage joints more so (hips, knees and spine and hands and fingers).
Rheumatoid Arthritis mainly affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, ankles and knees. It is an automimmune disorder which means that our immune system (which normally fights illness and disease) starts attacking our own body.
Rheumatoid Arthritis starts with the inflammation and irritation of the joint capsule, reducing the cartilage (protective, cushioning within the join) and causing it to break down, only for it to be replaced with hard, bony, calcified tissue that can fuse the joint, restricting movement and mobility.