What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

RA is a chronic, progressive disease that can cause irreversible joint damage

  • RA is a chronic condition, which means it’s for life.
  • RA occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joints.
  • RA symptoms may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of physical function in areas such as your hands, wrists, shoulders, knees, and feet. Over time these symptoms can lead to irreversible joint damage.
  • RA may result from a combination of factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and your immune system, even though the exact cause is unknown.
Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA Symptoms

Knee pain icon

Physical Symptoms

  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Worse joint stiffness after sleeping or prolonged sitting

Person walking icon

Functional Impact

  • Getting in and out of bed
  • Bathing and drying yourself
  • Running errands or doing chores
  • Turning faucets on and off
  • Tying shoelaces

The exact cause is unknown, but RA may result from a combination of factors

Genetic predisposition icon
  • Genetics may account for about 60% of your risk of developing RA.
  • Some genes have been associated with the onset and progression of RA.
Environmental Influences icon

More studies need to be conducted examining the role environmental factors play in developing RA; however, this is what we do know:

  • Long-term smoking is associated with an increased risk of developing RA.
  • Some lifestyle factors, such as diet, medications, and pollutants, may increase one’s risk of developing RA.
Immune system icon
  • The body overproduces TNF-alpha and other proteins that promote inflammation. This contributes to RA symptoms, including joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Irreversible joint damage can happen slowly over time

Watch how irreversible joint damage occurs over time

RA is a chronic, progressive disease that can cause irreversible joint damage


Not reaching your treatment goals?


A once-daily pill for people with moderate to severe RA who have already tried a TNF blocker like HUMIRA could help.

How HUMIRA® works for RA

See how HUMIRA works

Watch the Video