Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation (swelling, redness and hotness) of joints. The inflammation can become so severe that it may compromise function as well as it may produce deformities of the joints. Women are affected more than man. Lumps, known as rheumatoid nodules, form over small joints in the hands and wrist. RA occurring in children 16 yrs or younger is known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)
Cause: The exact cause is unknown. RA is an autoimmune disease which means body owns immune mechanism attacks its own healthy tissue. The response of the body causes inflammation in and around the joints.