Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is a chronic inflammatory arthritis that can affect any joint in the body. It typically affects the small joints of the hands and feet in the early stages but may later progress to involve larger joints such as the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips. The cervical spine or neck area may be involved in later stages of the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical meaning the same corresponding joint on the other side of the body is also affected. The affected joints present with swelling, pain and stiffness resulting in limited motion. Nodules made of firm solid tissue may occur under the skin of the arms in severe cases. Other symptoms may include fatigue, fever and weight loss. If not treated early and aggressively Rheumatoid arthritis results in joint deformity and disability.