Rheumatoid arthritis is chronic inflammation of the joints on both sides of the body (such as hands, wrists, or knees). This is what helps to distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other types of arthritis.
In addition to affecting the joints, rheumatoid arthritis may also affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, nerves, or kidneys.
A balance of rest and exercise is important in treating rheumatoid arthritis. During flare-ups (when joint inflammation gets worse), it is best to rest the joints that are inflamed. Your doctor may recommend the temporary use of a cane or joint splints to help rest your joints.
When inflammation improves, exercises may help to maintain joint flexibility and strengthen the muscles [...]