In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation causes painful, swollen joints. Rheumatoid arthritis most often affects the small joints of the hands and feet but may develop in any joint. In addition to being painful, rheumatoid arthritis can destroy joints. About 1 of 10 persons with rheumatoid arthritis become disabled from joint destruction. No cure exists for rheumatoid arthritis, but the symptoms can be treated. Drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis include anti-inflammatory drugs, such as prednisone or sulfasalazine, and powerful drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.