Rheumatoid Arthritis Definition

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissues and leads to severe degeneration of the joints, particularly the hands and feet. The onset of rheumatoid arthritis involves the inflammation in the lining of the joints (synovium) that releases enzymes which digest bone and cartilage. The affected joint can become malformed, resulting in pain, loss of motion and swelling. In the back, it is more common for rheumatoid arthritis to develop in the cervical spine causing neck pain. Rheumatoid Arthritis is treated conservatively with anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and physical therapy or water therapy to maintain motion.