What is a Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The body basically thinks that the joint lining is a "foriegn body" and tries to reject it by releasing an inflammatory cascade. No one really knows why the body does this and there in no genetic predisposition. So basically there is inflammation in the joints. It really like to involve the knuckles of the hand, but can involve any joint and the spine It also has a systemic effect as well causing fatigue and other symptoms.
When symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) occur, you can take steps to lessen their severity. Protecting your joints from undue stress can help. You may find that using a splint around a painful joint (generally wrists and hands) helps reduce pain and swelling. The splint supports the joint and lets it rest. Your healthcare professional can help you obtain a properly fitting splint. You may want to talk to him or her about self-help devices that can reduce stress on the joints while you participate in everyday activities. Zipper pullers, long-handled shoehorns, and products that help you get on and off chairs, toilet seats, and beds can all ease the strain on your joints.