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Harvard Medical School

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Common Forms Of Arthritis
Although there are more than 100 forms of arthritic conditions, the most common disorders include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and lupus.

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Learn The Basics
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about rheumatoid arthritis.
Who Gets Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Although rheumatoid arthritis most often occurs between the ages of 20 and 50, it also can affect children and the elderly.
Understanding Joint Inflammation
The joint inflammation characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis may cause joint pain, stiffness, warmth, redness and swelling.

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Assess Your Health
Working With Your Health Care Provider
An accurate and early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is necessary to rule out alternative explanations for your symptoms and to guide early treatment.
General Considerations
Rheumatoid arthritis ranges from a mild disorder that is little more than an annoyance to severe disease and early disability (especially among people who are not treated).
Symptoms
Pain, tenderness and swelling usually affect multiple joints in a symmetric pattern on both sides of the body.

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Take Action
Surgical Treatment
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis require surgery to reconstruct or replace a damaged joint.
Treatment Without Drugs Or Surgery
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, there are a variety of treatments available that don't involve drugs or surgery.
Investigational Treatments For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Research studies hold the promise of better treatments for rheumatoid arthritis in the future.
A Comprehensive Approach To Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Anyone who has prolonged or severe joint pain should be examined by a health care provider.
Combining The Old And New To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
In the past five years or so, the biologic agents have revolutionized the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Drug Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The number of drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis has soared in the past 30 years, and their effectiveness has improved dramatically.

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Keep On Track
Additional Information
Additional information for patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are several important ways that you can minimize the effects of your disease.

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Related Resources


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