It can leave the joints feeling sore and inflamed, and could even damage the surrounding cartilage or tendons.
On some occasions, the symptoms can extend to other parts of the body, including the lungs or heart.
Around 400,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
One of the key warning signs of the condition is developing a high fever.
“Rheumatoid arthritis mainly attacks the joints, usually many joints at once,” said the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention.
“With rheumatoid arthritis, there are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when symptoms get better, known as remission.
“Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include: Pain or aching in more than one joint, stiffness in more than one joint, weight loss, fever, fatigue, weakness.
“Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other inflammatory joint diseases.”