What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

rheumatoid arthritis

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What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that primarily affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, stiffness and potential joint deformities.  Unlike osteoarthritis, which results from wear and tear on the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium—the lining of the membranes that surround the joints.


  • Joint pain and stiffness, typically in a symmetrical pattern (affecting both sides of the body).
  • Swelling and tenderness in affected joints.
  • Fatigue, fever, and weight loss may also occur.

What causes rheumatoid arthritis?

The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown.  Researchers think it’s caused by a combination of genetics, hormones and environmental factors.

Normally, your immune system protects your body from disease.  With rheumatoid arthritis, something triggers your immune system to attack your joints.  An infection, smoking or physical or emotional stress may be triggering

How can I manage RA and improve my quality of life?

  • Get physically active.  Experts recommend that ideally adults be moderately physically active for 150 minutes per week, like walking, swimming or biking 30 minutes a day for five days a week.  You can break these 30 minutes into three separate ten-minute sessions during the day.  Regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and depression.
  • Stop Smoking.  Cigarette smoking makes the disease worse and can cause other medical problems.  Smoking can also make it more difficult to stay physically active, which is an important part of managing RA. 
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight.  Having obesity can cause numerous problems for people with RA and so it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. 
Are you suffering from any foot condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.