What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can get worse over time
Normally, the immune system protects the body from bacteria, viruses, and germs. In an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues and cells. The exact cause is not known. In RA, the immune system mostly attacks the smaller joints of the hands and feet. The membrane surrounding the joint becomes swollen and inflamed. This causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and potential joint damage.
RA is a progressive disease. This means the pain, stiffness, and swelling can get worse over time. While there is currently no cure, there are medicines that can help relieve the symptoms and help you perform everyday activities with less difficulty.
Watch this video
to see how, over time, RA can cause inflammation of the joint lining, damaging cartilage and bone.
Who is affected by rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the same joints on both sides of the body
RA typically occurs in a symmetrical fashion, so if a joint on the right side of the body is inflamed, the left one will likely be too. RA can occur in any joint, but usually starts in the smaller joints in your fingers, hands, wrists, and feet.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may include:
- Joint pain
- Tender, warm, swollen joints
- Morning stiffness lasting hours
The specific joints affected by RA, as well as the frequency and severity of symptoms, can vary from one person to another. For many, the stiffness from RA is worse in the morning and after periods of inactivity.
Find a rheumatologist
Finding a rheumatologist may be the first step in taking control of your condition. Our rheumatologist locator can help you find and contact a rheumatologist in your area. To get started, enter your city/state or your ZIP code and click the “Search” button.
This database is compiled for informational purposes only. No fees have been received or paid in exchange for participation in this database. The database of physician information which drives Rheumatologist Locator does not contain sufficient information with which to verify physician credentials under the standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) or the Utilization Review Accreditation Committee (URAC).
Inclusion in this database does not represent an endorsement, referral, or recommendation from Janssen Biotech, Inc. In addition, physicians participating in this search feature do not necessarily endorse the use of SIMPONI ARIA®. Janssen Biotech, Inc. undertakes reasonable efforts to keep the information contained in Rheumatologist Locator accurate. However, because Janssen compiles such information from numerous and varied sources and may experience reporting and processing errors or delays, Janssen makes no representations or warranties of any nature with respect to the information obtained through this website including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for any particular purpose. The material included in this website is for informational purposes only.
Your selection of a physician is your sole responsibility and is an important decision that should be undertaken with care. For example, you may consider checking credentials with the appropriate medical boards or discussing this with others. In addition, you can obtain names of other physicians by contacting a local medical society. If you are a physician visiting this site and need to update your information or opt out, please call 866-714-6588.