The Other Crippling Joint Disease: RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS


As debilitating as osteoarthritis can be, it at least develops gradually. That may not seem like much consolation until you consider the other arthritis--rheumatoid arthritis--which in severe cases can hit as fast and hard as a freight train. "People who are jogging one day," says Dr. Stanley Cohen of Dallas' St. Paul Medical Center, "can't get out of bed two weeks later."

Although their symptoms can be similar, the two diseases are very different. Unlike osteoarthritis, which is focused on a particular joint, rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease--an autoimmune disorder in which the body's defense system attacks the joints by...

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