Rheumatology: Definition, Rheumatic Diseases, Treatments and Life Condition

It is a specialty within the parameters of medicine, which is responsible for diagnosing, treating and improving joint and autoimmune diseases of the body.

Rheumatic diseases are quite frequent and there are approximately two hundred. These pathologies can affect anyone without distinction of age or gender.

Depending on the condition of the affected, these diseases can reduce quality of life, even incapacitate it.

What affect rheumatic diseases?

Rheumatism mainly affects the muscles and joints. For example, rheumatoid arthritisarises due to problems in the immune system and osteoarthritis is generated by body wear.

Treatments for rheumatic diseases

People suffering from rheumatism should be diagnosed by a specialist doctor, who will ask the patient to change some of their habits to ensure a better quality of life.

For example, the affected person will have to perform regular exercises, maintain a balanced diet, rest continually and manage the stresses.

Most common rheumatic diseases

Osteoarthritis :

This disease tends to damage the cartilages of the body, especially the fingers, knees, hips, sword (lower part) and neck.

Cartilage can be described as the cushioned material that is found in the extremities of the bones to help them rotate without difficulty, when they wear out it can be a product of the disease.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis:

In some cases and depending on the progress of the disease, the following symptoms may occur, which must be treated in time to prevent Osteoarthritis from progressing rapidly:

  • Rigidity in the extremities of the body.
  • Intense body pain.
  • Inflammation in some parts of the body.
  • Constant heat and no apparent reason.
  • Depending on the case, Osteoarthritis can prevent or hinder the process of walking, sitting, grabbing a variety of objects, among other routine actions.

The diagnosis can be made by examining the joints through radiographs or an MRI.

Rheumatoid Arthritis :

This disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, generating intense and sharp pain in the joints, resulting in stiffness in the affected body limb and inflammation.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Usually the symptoms are the appearance of rheumatoid nodules, pain and swelling in wrists and ankles, joint stiffness and fatigue.

It is diagnosed through a liquid joint sample, x-rays and blood tests.


Systemic lupus erythematosus enters into autoimmune diseases, affecting many organs of the body.

Symptoms of Lupus:

  • Symptoms that may occur are hair loss, sensitivity to sunlight, joint pain, rash on the cheeks, fingers to cold exposure tend to turn blue or white, blood disorders such as low levels of blood cells whites, platelets or anemia.

Seizures may also occur, and inflammation of the lining of the heart and lungs, as well as pain in the chest.

For diagnosis, the treating physician must perform tests of antinuclear antibodies in the blood and study the urine.

Ankylosing Spondylitis:

This disease begins with lumbar pains , involving the existing joints in the spine, specifically those found in the pelvis.

Ankylosing spondylitis is very common in young men, in an age range between 15 and 30 years.

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis:

  • Often the symptoms are pain in the shoulder blades, neck, lower back and buttocks, in the spine.
  • Stiffness and pain also occur when the body is at rest or when getting up.
  • If the condition worsens, the spine will become stiffer, affecting the body’s inclination and hindering daily or routine activities.

It can be diagnosed by performing physical tests, x-rays, or blood tests to examine a protein called HLA-B27.

Sjogren’s Syndrome :

This syndrome causes some parts of the body to dry out, such as the eyes or mouth and happens when the immune system attacks those parts of the body.

It is usually more common in women than in men.

Symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome:

  • Some symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome are dry mouth and eyes , irritation of the eyes, tooth decay or gum disease, swollen glands and joint pain.

A complete physical examination and some blood tests are diagnosed through a biopsy of the tissue of the inner lip.

Life condition

People diagnosed with a rheumatic disease should have a quiet lifestyle to avoid increasing the ailments, go periodically to the doctor to make sure that the disease does not worsen and strictly follow the indications of the specialist.