Rheumatoid Arthritis—Not Your Grandmother’s Rheumatism
Rheumatism. At some point, each of us has heard the term used by our parents, grandparents or even Granny Clampett from television’s The Beverly Hillbillies. However, rheumatism, the catchall term for joint pain, and the actual disease rheumatoid arthritis, are not the same.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and even deformity in the joints. RA is caused when the body’s immune system, which is supposed to protect us from harm, malfunctions and attacks our joints. If left untreated, RA will ultimately destroy the joints and cause permanent disability.
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