Rheumatic disorders are diseases that affect your joints and muscles. They occur as a result of wear and tear or immune system problems. There are more than 100 different types of rheumatic disorders.
Some common types are:
- Osteoarthritis: this condition usually affects usually the knees, hips, lower back, neck, fingers, and feet. It symptoms may include; Pain, Stiffness, Swelling, Warmth.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an incurable autoimmune condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. It may be inherited or as a result of environmental factors such as smoking. This disease destroys the synovial tissue, the lining of joints causing swelling, pain, and stiffness throughout the body.
- Infectious arthritis: This disease may be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Example may include Lyme disease, which may cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness of joints as a result of the bite of a tick carrying specific bacteria,. Other types include parvovirus arthritis and gonococcal arthritis. Antibiotics can be used to prevent joint damage on early identification of these infections.
- Fibromyalgia: This disease attacks the muscles and tendons that support your joints, which causes stiffness and pain as well as sleep disturbances. According to Madeline Vann (2016), millions of adults struggle with the chronic fatigue and pain of this rheumatic disease.
- Gout: This disease is characterized by uric acid crystals in the joints (most often the big toe) that cause episodes of pain and swelling. Gout is more often a problem for men than women. It is reported that about 2.1 million adults have this rheumatic disease (Madeline Vann, 2016)
- Lupus: This is also an autoimmune disease that causes damage to joints and organs throughout the body by attacking the body’s own healthy cells and tissues. It is technically referred to as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Madeline Vann (2016) reported that about 150,000 people are living with lupus, and ninety percent of people with lupus are female.
- Ankylosing spondylitis: This disease specifically affects the spine; it usually starts gradually as Lower back pain. It is the most common of the spondyloarthropies, rheumatic disease that inflames tendons in the hips, knees, and shoulders, causing pain and stiffness. According to WebMD (2015), it is more common in young men, especially from the teenage years to age 30.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: This occurs mostly in childhood (Madeline Vann, 2016). It causes pain, swelling, and loss of joint function that may be accompanied by fevers and rashes.
- Tendinitis: This is the inflammation of tendons (tough cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone) that is caused by overuse, injury, or a rheumatic condition and may restrict movement of nearby joints.
- Polymyositis: This disease causes inflammation and weakness in the muscles. It may also affect the whole body and cause disability.
- Excessive weight
- Genetic factors
- Certain occupations which lead to injury and overuse of joints
- Increasing age
Different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases have different signs and symptoms. In general, people who have arthritis feel pain and stiffness in one or more joints. Pain and stiffness may be accompanied by tenderness, warmth, redness in a joint, and/or difficulty using or moving a joint normally.
Treatments rheumatic disorders vary depending on the specific disease or condition; general treatments includes the following:
- Exercise:Physical activity can reduce joint pain and stiffness and increase flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. Exercise also can result in weight loss, which in turn reduces stress on painful joints. However, it is advisable that People with arthritis speak with their physician before beginning any new exercise program. The best exercises for people with arthritis are those that place the least stress on the joints, such as walking, stretching, using weight machines, stationary cycling, exercising in water, and swimming.
- Diet:There is not a specific diet that helps arthritis, but a well-balanced diet, along with exercise, helps people manage their body weight and stay healthy. Diet is important for people who have gout, it is advisable for them to avoid alcohol and foods that are high in purines, such as organ meats (liver, kidney), sardines, anchovies, and gravy.
- Medications: The type of medication depends on the specific disease and the individual patient. The medications used to treat most rheumatic diseases do not provide a cure, but to manage the condition. In some cases, especially when a person has rheumatoid arthritis or another type of inflammatory arthritis, the medication may slow the course of the disease and prevent further damage to joints or other parts of the body.
Article by: edokita Team.
- Madeline Vann, What Are Rheumatic Diseases? Everyday health media.2016
- WebMD, ‘Rheumatic Diseases: Types, Causes, and Diagnosis’. 2015.
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and skin disease. ‘Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases’. 2014
- Rheumatology Associates, PC & Osteoporosis ‘Rheumatology Conditions’. 201