Rheumatology refers to a series of disorders that affect the joints, muscles and bones. If you are experiencing persistent or intense pain in your muscles, joints or bones, you should see a rheumatologist for a thorough examination, diagnosis and treatment plan.
There are many different kinds of rheumatic diseases, some of which are chronic or life-threatening. Rheumatic disease can cause swelling, stiffness or pain in skin, muscles, tendons and bones. They are often the result of an immune system attack on the body.Some types of rheumatic diseases can affect connective tissue and internal organs as well.
Rheumatic diseases are thought to be the result of both genetic and environmental causes. In other words, you may have inherited certain tendencies or weaknesses through your genes and then a virus or another environmental factor may trigger the condition.
Some of the most common types of rheumatic diseases are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
Many rheumatic diseases respond well to life changes that include rest, exercise and eating a healthy diet. Medications may be used to improve symptoms such as inflammation and pain. Assistive devices, physical therapy and heat and cold therapy are sometimes recommended treatment options. In the most serious cases, surgery will be performed to repair or replace a damaged joint.