Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease which typically affects the hands and feet but can also affect the shoulders.
The inflammation affects the lining of the joint capsule (synovium) but may, after a period of time, cause damage to the cartilage, bones and ligaments.
There's no cure as yet, but many different treatments are available. Some of these will help the symptoms while others can slow down or even halt the progression of he disease. Treatments include:
Joint replacement surgery can help if the joint is badly damaged by the arthritis.
Read more about rheumatoid arthritis.