There is not a single disease named “rheumatism”, but there is “rheumatic diseases”. Number of rheumatic diseases are almost 200. All the disorders in the structures constituting locomotor system such as joint, bone, muscle, tendon, ligament and nerve and causing pain are called rheumatism.
How many types of rheumatisms exist?
Rheumatisms are classified in different ways. For the sake of clarity, they can be broken into two groups: (1) Inflammatory rheumatismal diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout) (2) Noninflammatory rheumatismal diseases (e.g. osteoarthritis, soft tissue disorders).
How are they diagnosed?
As it is the case with other diseases, the most important step is the examination by a physician. None of the tests and X-rays could substitute physician examination. Tests help to explain issues that cannot be clarified with examination and show the level of disease.
Does blood test show rheumatism?
Very few rheumatic diseases are diagnosed with blood test. In many of them, blood test doesn’t show any changes.
Does rheumatism cause disability?
Some rheumatic diseases may leave a patient disabled if not treated in time. In order for the patient to avoid disability, s/he follow the treatment properly and completely, do the exercises and attend follow-up appointments regularly.
How are they treated?
Most of rheumatic diseases are cured with medications and physical therapy. Surgery is needed rarely. While some of the medications relieve the pain, others may treat the disease or slow down its progression. Some medications are administered into the source of disease with injection. While medications may have many side effects, physical therapy is a harmless treatment method. Physical therapy can ensure recovery of the rheumatism. Physical therapy can be accompanied by assistive devices such as cane and corset, and other therapies such as acupuncture, manipulation, medical ozone and PRP.