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Rheumatology provides specialized care, diagnosis, treatment and management for arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases. It focuses on treating connective tissues diseases, metabolic bone disorders, immunologic and autoimmune diseases and localized or general musculoskeletal pain issues.
Common Types of Rheumatic Diseases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease in which the patient’s immune system mistakenly attacks the soft tissue linings in the joints, causing inflammation.
- Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis, this primarily damages the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the joint areas.
- Gout: This is the type of arthritis caused by the development of needle-like crystals made of uric acid in the joints.
- Fibromyalgia: This is a chronic condition characterized by localized pain in the musculoskeletal system.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: The type of arthritis that primarily attacks the toes and fingers and is commonly associated with psoriasis.
- Reactive Arthritis: Also called Reiter’s Syndrome, this condition develops after an infection of bowels, urinary tract or other organs in the body.
- Scleroderma: An autoimmune rheumatic disease, also called systematic sclerosis, scleroderma leads to the tightening and thickening of the inflammation in various parts of the body, including the joints and blood vessels.
If you happen to notice symptoms, consult a professional rheumatologist to know if you have any of these conditions.