Rheumatism, also referred to as rheumatic disorder, involves various medical problems that affect the joints and connective tissue within the body. Any study of the disorder and the treatments of it is called rheumatology.
Rheumatism isn’t typically used to name any specific disorder, as the traditional term is used to describe a wide range of various medical problems. There are various types and there are various intentions for the term. For instance, while some link arthritis to rheumatism, there can be non-articular rheumatism that is called regional pain syndrome and soft tissue rheumatism with no link to arthritis.
Together, rheumatism and arthritis can be used to describe up to 200 different disorders and conditions.
Various types of rheumatic disorders include
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Back pain
- Bursitis and tendinitis
- Neck pain
- Rheumatic fever
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- There are minimal connections between these various disorders; however, they share two common characteristics that make them relative in the rheumatic sense.
- These disorders each cause chronic and sporadic pain and are very difficult to treat. T
- hey are also quite common within society and are seen as common ailments presented to physicians when associated with pain or discomfort.
- There have been autoimmune disorders classed as rheumatism due to pain infliction and affected other organs.
- These diseases were later found to be not of rheumatic origin, but immune deficiencies that attack the joints and connective tissue, as well as muscles and joints.
- Various diseases can cause rheumatic disorders that are quite common and identified complications.
There are also forms of rheumatism that can occur do to repeating the same motion for a long period of time. This can cause disorders like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which is identified as non-articular rheumatism.
This can be caused by poor typing posture as well as any positions or activities in which there will be repeated motion.
Temporamandibular Joint Syndrome, or TMJ, is another type of non-articular rheumatism that can affect the joints within the jaws. This can cause the jaw to be stuck open or shut, or even cause a painful pop and click whenever the jaw is moved.
The most common symptoms of rheumatism are
- Intense soreness in the joints
- Stiffness when bending and moving
When acute rheumatism disorders are onset, there will be various symptoms of fever and severe soreness and pain. This could erupt unexpectedly and can cause extreme sensitivity.
Rheumatism has been seen to even cause sensitivity from items like clothing and other thin and very light items. If improper treatment is administered or there is no adequate treatment provided, the acute stage can move to chronic, causing severe pain and stiffness within the affected muscles. This pain can be felt within most of the joints, causing swelling and severe soreness.
There are seven main symptoms that are listed as the main signs and symptoms for rheumatism
- Signs of underlying disorder
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling and sometimes redness
- Severe and moderate back pain
- Lung symptoms
- Heart symptoms
- Eye symptoms
There can be instances of loss of sleep due to painful nights that inhibit appropriate rest. Improper urination has also been attributed to rheumatism. One of the most severe symptoms includes coma, which is extremely rare and not a common case. The most common cases of rheumatism either involve acute pain that changes in severity over time or the effects of a disease or disorder.
The first step to researching and understanding the cause of some cases of rheumatism, it may be necessary to research the causes of the various diseases that are classified as rheumatism disorders.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Joint pain
- Caplan syndrome
- Felty syndrome
There are a variety of conditions that list rheumatism as a potential complication. These conditions could be the root cause of the disorder experienced such as Sydenham chorea.
There are also various conditions that list rheumatism as a symptom that can be the cause such as Cycad nut poisoning. There are also various infections that can cause rheumatism and various related disorders.
Some various infections such as intestinal autotoxemia, metabolic disturbance, and arterio-sclerosis can cause rheumatism, typically in the acute and articular types that can be sub-acute.
There have been various risk factors found to cause a significant increase in the likelihood that developing a rheumatic disorder will occur.
These factors include the various diseases and conditions that could cause these disorders including osteoarthritis. This occurs when there is inherited cartilage weakness or there has been excessive stress on joints from a repeated injury or various activities.
Various other disorders include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- There are also various genetic factors as well as environmental triggers that have been found to have an increase in the risk of forming a rheumatism disorder.
- With a family history of various diseases like gout and Ankylosing spondylitis, there is also an increased risk of developing a rheumatic disorder.
- Women generally have a higher risk due to the fact that they are more apt to forming these and other related diseases that have been found to cause one form of rheumatism or another.
- There really is no specific group that isn’t afflicted with rheumatism as there can be occurrences in all genders and ages, as well as ethnicities and races.
- Nine out of ten people afflicted with Lupus are women, as well as fibromyalgia.
- Lupus also occurs at least three times more in African American females than Caucasian females.
- Men have more of a risk for Ankylosing spondylitis than women.
- Any disease that may affect the muscles, joints, soft tissue, and bones can cause symptoms and occurrence of rheumatism.
- Those who take various medications that have listed these disorders as a common side effect are also more at risk of developing the disorder than those who do not.
There are various preventative measures that can be taken in order to prevent the occurrence of rheumatism. These tips are great at avoiding and preventing the various disorders and diseases, as well as deficiencies that could have an influence in causing rheumatic disorders.
These tips include
- Avoid eating sour foods like curds and cheese
- Avoid eating cold fruits
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Include many green leafy vegetables, plenty of fresh fruit, whole grains, etc.
- Limit junk, oily, and spicy foods
These preventative measures can increase the body’s strength, immunity, and defense against various disorders and diseases that are known to cause rheumatism.
Test and Diagnosis Considerations
Testing and diagnosing rheumatism is very difficult as it can present various other diseases and disorders. It can be difficult in pinpointing rheumatism as an actual affliction, and many of the various disorders resemble other disorders. Many times a physician will refer the patient to a rheumatologist who can provide the most comprehensive analysis and treatment options.
A rheumatologist will typically review a great deal of the patient’s background, including any family history as well as a physical examination and an X-ray in some cases. The X-ray is more of a deductive measure that allows the health care professional to rule out any fractures or breaks when determining the cause for the pain and other symptoms. There are also various laboratory tests that may be conducted in order to provide a better insight into the condition at hand.
There may be several visits and tests needed before an accurate diagnosis is provided. This is because there will be a great deal of deductive evaluation to rule out various disorders and diseases that could be the true condition. The genetic history can be a strong indicator of the condition, providing a great basis for diagnosis. Individuals afflicted with conditions that are known to cause rheumatic disorders are also need to know information when diagnosing the condition.
There are various treatments for rheumatic disorders that typically depend on the specific disorder that is present. There are other influences for the proper treatment such as the severity of the disease that is present and the actual patient and their health.
There are various types of therapies that include
- Rest and relaxing
- Appropriate light conditioning exercise
- Appropriate nutritional diet
- Various medications
- Appropriate use of joints and movements to conserve energy
Herbal and Home Remedies
There are several herbal and home remedies that are suggested for alleviating rheumatism symptoms and treating the condition. There are many household items and products that are useful and can provide a cost-efficient way of treating the affliction.
- Potato juice: one to two tsp before meals
- Cod liver oil: one tsp in orange juice before bed
- Apple cider vinegar and honey: two tsp in warm water
- Carrot juice and lemon juice: equal portion in one spoonful
- Oil of wintergreen, chloroform, and rubbing alcohol: 1:3:12 mixture
Some of the herbal and home remedies can create a great compress, while others provide a nutritional or consumed supplement that will provide support for the functions and defenses needed to combat rheumatism and its symptoms.
Massage with ajwain oil is highly recommended as it can decrease swelling and pain in joints, while tomato juice is a great and beneficial common drink that can cure rheumatism. This is one of the most beneficial treatments as tomatoes provide a support in absorbing iron in the blood.
The most common herbal remedies include the consumption of tea from alfalfa leaves which can safely be consumed up to six times a day. This is a great herbal tea for assisting in the dissolution of residues that have been left in the body. Indian gooseberry, most commonly in powder form and served with two tsp of jaggery. Winter cherry is another herb that is quite effective when the extract from the root is used in treatment for rheumatism. Pulp from Indian aloe leaves can provide great treatment and relief of the condition as well.
There are three main general classes of pharmacological drugs that are used which are
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
The initial step taken to treat rheumatologic diseases is to use analgesics including paracetamol, as well as NSAIDS including
Some of the most commonly used DMARDs for the treatment of rheumatism are
- Corneal deposit
- Extraocular muscular weakness
- Sensitivity to light
There are many more medications that can be targeted more aggressively by these DMARDs. Generally, there is a combination of NSAIDs and DMRARDs allowing pain relief until the DMARDs are able to take effect.
There are gastrointestinal disturbances that have been linked to the use of NSAIDs, including ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders. NSAIDs have also been shown to impair renal function in various patients leading to the retention of salts, development of edema, and high blood pressure.
Hydroxychloroquine is another form of treatment in the form of antimalarial drugs that are considered safe and quite effective. Chloroquine is another example of an antimalarial drug.
The most common side effects include
There are some cases when treatment is not received well by the condition and surgery becomes an option for those who are seeking to treat rheumatism. There can be various types of surgeries, typically associated with the type of disorder that is present and the severity of such, as well as the location and the impairment. These surgeries could include re-strengthening bones and repairing fractures as well as removing diseased tissue and muscle.
Rheumatism is a more difficult condition as it is very broad and general and can explain several different disorders and conditions that cause chronic pain and debilitation such as immobility and stiffness. There are many people plagued with one rheumatic disorder or the other, as it is a very common condition that can be signified by several different indicating symptoms that can also resemble other diseases and disorders. The actual testing and diagnosis of rheumatism is very difficult and will involve a very deductive nature, seeking to rule out possible conditions that could be the actual cause of the pain and other symptoms
With many treatments, there is mainly a combination of analgesic medications accompanying the effective treatment with DMARDS and other effective therapies. The best way to prevent rheumatism is to follow the practices necessary to avoid various related disorders and the diseases and ailments that list rheumatism as a complication associated.