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Rheumatoid arthritis. The hand of an elderly woman with rheumatoid arthritis. The fingers are abnormally bent (ulnar deviation) due to damage to the knuckle joints, which are severely swollen. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system attacks joint tissue, most often in the hands and feet. Affected joints become painful and inflamed, limiting movement. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, although a variety of drugs may help to relieve symptoms or check the progress of the disease. Sufferers are usually affected for life and may receive physiotherapy or occupational therapy to help them live with the condition.
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