Rheumatoid arthritis is, after Osteoarthritis, the second most common form of joint diseases and usually affects the fingers, wrist, ankles and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect all age groups as well as both men and women but women, especially in the age groups of 30-50 are more susceptible to this type of joint pain.
This joint condition shows a typical pattern surrounding the inflamed joints. The first signs show a swelling of the joint and inflammation of the synovial membrane followed by erosion and loss of cartilage and bone. Rheumatoid arthritis is a classic example of a symmetric arthritis; doctors can diagnose this condition by identifying the pattern of joint pain. So if your left wrist hurts there are chances that your right wrist would hurt, too. But, if the joint involvement is asymmetric, your left wrist would hurt, but your right wrist would not. Rheumatoid arthritis may be caused by a number of reasons such as hereditary tendencies, genetics, sedentary lifestyles etc but most affected people have a particular antibody- HLA-DR4 that could be the main cause.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be contained by resting the affected joints, a healthy nutritious diet and by medications such as aspirin, salicylates, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory preparations and slow-acting agents including penicillamine, gold, sulphasalazine, hydroxychloroquine. A lot of people suffering from this joint condition with proper medications and care show improvements, enough to lead a fairly normal life, but in some severe cases it could lead to disability.