According to the Arthritis Foundation, over a million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The condition confuses the immune system, which normally wards off viruses, bacteria and other unwanted elements. But with rheumatoid arthritis, it begins to attack perfectly healthy parts of the body, causing damage to the joints.
Then, under attack from the immune system, joints become inflamed, and their surrounding tissue becomes thicker. This in turn causes swelling and pain in the affected areas, which, over time, creates actual damage to the cartilage. And from there, joints and bones get closer, reducing their mobility, misshaping them and further heightening the discomfort that’s associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis typically experience discomfort in their knees, elbows, wrists, hands or feet. Interestingly, the pain usually affects both sides of the body. So, if someone’s left wrist aches because of the disease, then the right one is likely to hurt, too. Other symptoms include joint stiffness for around half an hour in the morning, a lack of appetite and a low-level fever.