Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disorder, dysfunction of immune system attacks joints and organ tissues. Our body has a natural defence mechanism which usually attacks bacteria, viruses and other parasites but in rheumatoid arthritis this defence mechanism works against the body by affecting certain tissues and other part of the body causing inflammation and pain
Our immune system responses by sending WBC(white blood cells) to the joint where it realises certain chemicals which attacks the cell of synovial membrane as a result it causes an inflammatory response in joints that leads to the formation of abnormal tissue called rheumatoid pannus. As the pannus grows it occupies and destroys the areas of cartilage and bone inside the joint. Inflammation causes fluid to accumulate in the joint and making the joint to swell. If remain untreated, the spacing between the joints narrows and a condition called ankylosis can occur. Ankylosis is fusion of bones in a joint and this result in the loss of ability to move the joint.
Further, scar tissues cause deformity, restricted movements and loss in bone density. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs at the same joint on both sides of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis also affects other organs and systems of the body, including the lungs, heart, and kidneys.
There are various medical procedures such as medications, physiotherapy, surgery to reduce inflammation and pain. In addition, low impact exercise can increase muscle strength and also building muscle will help to support the joint and aid in restoring the joint movement.