Rheumatoid arthritis: Get informed

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that occurs when an immune dysregulation affects the synovial membranes causing inflammation of the affected joints. The causes of this disease are not well known.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is a joint disease that is accompanied by inflammation of the synovium, the membrane that encloses the joint cavity. It is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system begins to attack certain body structures. Rheumatoid arthritis causes excessive secretion of synovial fluid that will collect in the joint cavity and cause the swelling thereof. The joints mainly affected are the peripheral joints: hands feet shoulders, elbows, wrists and knees.
The affected joints cause intense pain, stiffness and swelling. Simple everyday actions, such as opening a door or write, can become restrictive and painful trials.


The main difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, primary rheumatic disease, is its origin. The inflammation in osteoarthritis is mainly due to mechanical wear. Conversely, it is the inflammation that will cause wear of the joint in rheumatoid arthritis.
The affected joints are also different. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects weight-bearing joints (knees, hips, etc.), when rheumatoid arthritis affects more regularly ends of limbs and hands and feet and it may have repercussions on structures other than the joints.
In addition, osteoarthritis is generally seen on the elderly, while the arthritis most often affects people between 40 and 60 years or young adults in rare cases.
You can find more information at the Rheumatoid Arthritis Forum.


Published 2 Sep 2019

avatar Carenity Editorial Team

Author: Carenity Editorial Team, Editorial Team

The Carenity Editorial Team is made up of experienced editors and specialists in the healthcare field who aim to provide impartial and high quality information. Our editorial content is proofread, edited and... >> Learn more

Rheumatoid arthritis community

Breakdown of 2 628 members on Carenity

Average age of our patients

Fact sheets

Rheumatoid arthritis on the forum

See the forum Rheumatoid arthritis

Newsfeed Rheumatoid arthritis

See more news

Rheumatoid arthritis testimonials

See more testimonials

The medication for Rheumatoid arthritis



Learn more


Learn more
Learn more


Learn more
See more medications