Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition wherein the immune system attacks the body’s own healthy body tissue. In this disease, the immune system sends antibodies to the lining of joints and triggers the tissue surrounding the joint. Due to this, the soft tissues covering the joints become sore and inflamed. If the illness goes untreated, then it may damage the shape and alignment of the joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis, unlike osteoarthritis, affects the joint linings and causes swelling and pain which may eventually lead to erosion of bones and deformed joints. The inflammation resulting from rheumatoid arthritis may damage other body parts as well.
Arthritis if aggravates further can however be debilitating. The synovium (lining fluid for the joints) gets thickened as a result of the inflammation which with time may damage the bone, cartilage and parts of the joint. The ligament and tendons holding the joints get stretched and weakened.