What is rheumatism?

Rheumatism; mostly involve the musculoskeletal system, mainly joints, muscles, bones, soft tissues and connective tissue; It is the general name given to acute or chronic painful conditions that cause pain, swelling, redness, temperature increase or loss of function. When it comes to rheumatic diseases, it includes more than 200 different diseases such as acute or chronic, inflammatory or non-inflammatory, regional or widespread, joint or extra-articular tissue involvement.

Rheumatic diseases cause significant loss of workforce, impair quality of life, cause irreversible sequelae, and even some rheumatic diseases can lead to death if early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are not performed.

Rheumatic diseases are a group of diseases that are mostly caused by genetic, environmental and hormonal factors and mostly occur with immune system disorders. It mostly involves the musculoskeletal system, especially the joints, muscles, bones and soft tissues; however, some rheumatic diseases can also affect other tissues and organs such as the skin, respiratory system, circulatory system, eyes, kidneys, intestines, nervous system, urinary system and so on.

As in many other diseases, early diagnosis and treatment are important in rheumatic diseases. Compared to the past, significant advances have been made in diagnosis and treatment. In the last few decades, early diagnosis and treatment options have increased greatly thanks to science. In the past, it was very difficult to cure the disease completely, to stop its progression, or at least to achieve partial recovery, today it is aimed to completely cure the disease or at least to stop its progression. Targeted therapies have been developed beyond symptomatic or palliative therapy. However, some diseases still have difficulties in diagnosis and treatment. The onset, course, results and, of course, the treatment of many rheumatic diseases differ from person to person, therefore, as in many diseases, the approach in rheumatic diseases should be specific to the disease and more importantly to the patient.

Diagnosis and treatment difficulties related to rheumatic diseases, confusion, unscientific treatment methods, wrong practices performed by physicians and non-specialists even though they are illegal, lead to misdiagnosis and treatment in patients, leading to loss of time, leading to early and correct diagnosis and treatment opportunities. Early and accurate diagnosis, the most appropriate treatment and follow-up for the patient and the disease are the most important issues.

When rheumatic complaints or musculoskeletal problems are encountered, it is of great benefit to consult a specialist early.

What are the most common symptoms of rheumatism?

  • Pain in joints or other musculoskeletal structures

  • Swelling in joints or soft tissues

  • Stiffness/stiffness in or around the joint

  • Temperature-heat increase in joints

  • Redness-discoloration in or around the joint

  • Loss of function in joints and other structures, difficulty in movement

  • Complaints about other organs (skin, mucous membrane, eyes, respiratory-circulatory system, nervous system, kidney, intestine…)

  • Fever, malaise, weakness, fatigue, widespread pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, morning stiffness and similar general complaints.

What are the most common rheumatic diseases?

  • Calcification (Arthrosis)

  • Soft tissue rheumatism (Fibromyalgia, waist, neck, back pain)

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • Spondyloarthropathies and ankylosing spondylitis

  • Vasculitis and Behçet’s disease

  • Gout (and other crystal arthropathies)

  • familial Mediterranean fever

  • acute joint rheumatism

  • reactive arthritis

  • Infectious arthritis

  • Connective tissue diseases (SLE, polymyositis-dermatomyositis, scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease)

  • childhood rheumatic diseases

  • Bursitis, tendinitis, fasciitis…

What treatments are used in rheumatic diseases?

  • Drug treatments (painkillers, anti-inflammatories, steroids, immunosuppressives, biological agents..)

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation, exercises, spa treatment (in some)…

  • Occupational therapy

  • Regulation of nutrition in some rheumatic diseases

  • Additional treatments related to the organs or systems involved

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