Rheumatic diseases

Rheumatic diseases include the system of movements and changes within it are their most characteristic symptom. But this is not always the case. In some cases, abnormalities may affect other systems and organs. What are the types of rheumatic diseases and what symptoms can they give?

Rheumatic diseases primarily include the motion system. Left untreated or treated badly can lead to deformation and total disability of the patient. That is why it is so important not to downplay the first symptoms and consult your doctor as soon as possible. The most effective treatment is that which was introduced no later than one year after the onset of the first symptoms.

The treatment itself depends largely on the type of disease. Most often, however, it is based on pharmacotherapy, rehabilitation and sometimes psychotherapy.

Rheumatic diseases – what contributes to their development?

The answer to this question is not so simple. Most of them have autoimmune background. For some reason, the immune system begins to attack and destroy your body. According to the researchers, the cause of such a “disorder” may be genetic factors, infection and even some drugs.

What are the types of rheumatic diseases?

Rheumatic diseases are divided into:

  1. Systemic connective tissue diseases
  • rheumatoid arthritis – the disease develops more often in women between 30 and 50 years of age. The most characteristic symptom of RA is the morning stiffness of the joint, which lasts for at least an hour. Firstly, small joints, ie hands and feet, are attacked. Other symptoms may include muscular atrophy, rheumatoid nodules under the skin, and feverishness.
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis – appears in children up to 16 years of unrecognized causes, more often in girls. The first symptom of the disease is edema and inflammation within the joint (most often the knee, ankle or tibia), its presence causes severe pain and limitation of joint mobility.
  • systemic lupus erythematosus – an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of many tissues and organs. Facial patients develop a characteristic erythema in the shape of a butterfly, in addition, the pain afflicts the joints and swells. They also have a tendency to form erosions in the mouth.
  • scleroderma – leads to hardening of the skin. First, the disease occupies the arms and around the chest. The first symptom suggestive of scleroderma may be the so-called Raynaud’s symptom (characterized by sudden contraction, arteries within the hands, hands first become pale, and then blue, such reactions of the body activates low temperature).
  • polymyositis and dermatomyositis – leads to muscle weakness, usually within the neck, hips, shoulders and back, causing patients to have serious problems with rising or climbing stairs; in the case of dermatomyositis, skin erythema appears around the eyes or on the V-shaped neck. The most characteristic symptom is Gottron papules – slightly convex, blue nodules;
  • necrotizing vasculitis and other vasculopathies – induces inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels, consequently the blood does not circulate properly, thus the tissues and organs are not well supplied and nourished;
  • Sjogren’s syndrome (the so-called dryness syndrome) – the disease is characterized by dryness, burning sensation and itchy eyes (patients complain of the feeling of sand under the eyelids), excessive dryness in the throat and swallowing problems may also appear.
  1. Spondyloarthritis (arthritis with involvement of the joints of the spine)
  • ankylosing spondylitis – it is a chronic disease leading to gradual overgrowth of gaps between the vertebrae of the spine. It is characterized by blunt spinal pain, which radiates to the buttocks, thighs and knees. It is the most annoying at night, during the day, especially after physical exertion;
  • reactive arthritis (Reiter’s Syndrome) – inflammation of the joints (appears asymmetrically), causes severe pain when the joint is bent, most often develops within the ankle, knee and wrist joint. A characteristic symptom of the disease is heel and spinal pain in the lumbar region;
  • psoriatic arthritis – very often accompanied by psoriasis of the skin and nails, the disorder causes pain in the joints, redness and swelling of the joints (caused by fluid accumulation) and stiffness.
  1. Degenerative arthritis
  • The most characteristic symptom of degenerative disease is squirting, slamming, gnashing in the joints, as well as severe pain when under load, for example when climbing stairs, rising from a chair or standing up.
  1. Inflammation of joints, tendon sheaths and synovial stones associated with infection
  2. Metabolic diseases and endocrine glands accompanied by joint diseases, including:
  • gout – a set of symptoms associated with protein metabolism disorders, causes acute pain in the joints, the strongest is at night or early in the morning, sometimes the joint is swollen and irritable to touch. The pain that is difficult to withstand causes purine compounds to accumulate within the joints;
  • amyloidosis, also called amyloidosis – the disease leads to the accumulation of proteins in various parts of the body, if they accumulate in the joints cause edema, in addition, the disorder may be accompanied by disorders of the digestive system, ie diarrhea, constipation, as well as skin changes and numbness
  1. Neurovascular disorders, including:
  • neuropathic joint disease (Charcot joints, neurogenic arthropathy) – is a complication of diabetes. Degenerative changes appear within the foot and lead to the formation of deformities and ulcerations. At the advanced stage, amputation may be necessary;
  • carpal tunnel syndrome – patients with this disease complain primarily of pain and tingling, numbness of the thumb, index finger, middle finger and cordial part (does not include the small finger). It happens that the pain radiates to the arm or shoulder.
  1. Diseases of bones and cartilages, including:
  • osteoporosis – bone peeling, the disease is characterized by a decrease in bone density and greater susceptibility to fractures;
  • hypertrophic osteoarthropathy – an inflammation that leads to deformation of the bones of the foot and hand plares;
  • Paget’s bone disease – the disease causes severe pain and leads to deformation of the affected bone, the patients are more susceptible to fractures.
  1. Inflammatory changes within soft tissues, including:
  • fibromyalgia – causes widespread pain within the so-called trigger points, chronic fatigue, weakness, stiffness and sleep-free rest;
  • tendinitis – the disease is accompanied by tendon pain, which increases during movement, swelling, reduction of movement, warming of the area, weakness, sensitivity to touch;
  • changes in the intervertebral discs.

Written by

Gregory Taylor