Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the hands and wrists. Medications and nondrug measures, such as physical therapy and joint protection strategies, are the primary treatments. If pain and dysfunction become severe and seriously limit movement, surgery can be considered. There are many possible causes of the symptoms you describe, and you may have more than one problem. For example, you may have arthritis plus the flu. But there are other reasons for joint pain besides arthritis. The fact that you spend a lot of time outdoors raises suspicion that you may have Lyme disease.