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What exactly is rheumatoid arthritis?

There are many different varieties of arthritis. This can sometimes lead to some confusion regarding what a given form of arthritis actually consists of. Today, we will discuss the specifics of one of the types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that is chronic. In this type of arthritis, a person's body tissues are attacked by the person's own immune system. This has impacts on the joint lining of an individual. Specifically, it can lead to inflammation.

This inflammation can cause various types of harm to a person, including: pain, joint damage, joint deformity and bone erosion. The joints most commonly affected by rheumatoid arthritis are small foot and hand joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also make a person more vulnerable to developing other health problems, such as heart problems, lung disease, osteoporosis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Thus, there are many different ways rheumatoid arthritis can affect the everyday lives of those who suffer from it. The pain, damage and complications of rheumatoid arthritis sometimes render a person unable to work. The income loss this can result in can cause a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer to have significant concerns about their ability to get by.

One thing that may be able to help a person who is out of the workforce due to the effects of rheumatoid arthritis with meeting their regular expenses are Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Whether or not a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer is eligible for such benefits is dependent on several things, including their work history and the severity of their arthritis. Attorneys can help sufferers of this type of arthritis look into whether SSDI benefits are something they would likely qualify for.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, "Rheumatoid arthritis - Definition," Accessed Jan. 22, 2015

Mayo Clinic, "Rheumatoid arthritis - Complications," Accessed Jan. 22, 2015

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