Rheumatic disorder

What is Rheumatic Disorder?

Rheumatic disorder is a chronic, degenerative condition that affects the bones, joints, muscles, and other connective tissues. It is a complex and often painful disorder that may manifest differently in each person. Common symptoms of rheumatic disorders may include inflammation, joint pain, stiffness and tenderness, loss of range of motion, and joint deformities.

The exact cause of the condition in many cases remains unknown, although some cases are thought to have an underlying genetic component. While it is most common in people over the age of 65, younger individuals may also be affected. There are a variety of treatments available for rheumatic disorders, ranging from lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, to medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Types of Rheumatic Disorders

Rheumatic disorders can be divided into two main categories, Musculoskeletal and Inflammatory. Some common musculoskeletal and inflammatory rheumatic conditions include:

  • Osteoarthritis: A common form of arthritis characterized by pain and joint stiffness caused by the wearing away of cartilage.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus: An autoimmune condition characterized by widespread inflammation and damage to joints, skin, and organs.
  • Gout: A form of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints.
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica: An inflammatory condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and hips.
  • Fibromyalgia: A chronic condition characterized by widespread pain and increased sensitivity to pressure.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect you may have a rheumatic disorder, a doctor may use a physical exam, lab tests, and imaging studies to diagnose the condition. Treatment options may include lifestyle modifications such as increasing physical activity and avoiding activities that cause pain. Other treatments may include medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologic therapies. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct joint deformities or improve joint function.