MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic hands. Deformed hand of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis. The patient's fingers are abnormally bent because of damage to the knuckle joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, occurring 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 the disease, although drugs such as gold, anti- inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants may relieve the symptoms. Physiotherapy can help to keep the joints supple, and special tools may also compensate for the lack of mobility.
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