Rheumatoid Arthritis is NOT the same as Rheumatism. In Rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial tissue that covers the joints becomes inflamed due to attacks from the immune system. As such, multiple joints can be involved. You may experience pain and swelling of your joints and stiffness of the affected joints after a period of immobility. Not only that, you may have excessive tiredness, fever and weight loss.