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What are the Most Common Rheumatic Disorders?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Rheumatic disorders affect the joints of millions of individuals worldwide. There are a number of conditions that result in inflammation of muscles and joints, and while the rheumatoid arthritis that is typically seen in a person's hands is one of the most commonly thought of, rheumatic disorders can also settle into the internal organs. More than 100 different types of these disorders have been diagnosed and classified.

Rheumatoid arthritis is found most commonly in women, and manifests itself with stiffness and swelling in the joints as well as lumps that can severely disfigure the joints. These are called rheumatoid nodules, and are typically found in the hands. This disfigurement, along with severe pain and fever, can make performing tasks requiring fine motor skills extremely difficult if not impossible.

Osteoarthritis occurs in tens of millions of people worldwide, and sets in when the cartilage between joints is worn away. This wearing away of the cushion between joints is what results in pain, instability, and weakness. It can make fine detail work difficult and painful, and can be found in the joints of the hands, fingers, back, knees, and hips. With osteoarthritis, joints may feel feverish and warm, while the muscles around them can become damaged and weak.

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Gout is a common rheumatic disorder that can manifest itself suddenly, when an abnormally high amount of uric acid builds up in the body. This buildup of uric acid can happen for a number of reasons, and makes joints become not only painful, but red and swollen as well. Extremities are usually among the first to show signs of gout; those who are overweight or on certain types of medications and vitamins can be susceptible to attacks. These attacks are typically over in a few days to a week and a half, but recurring attacks are common.

An autoimmune disease that has the joint stiffness characteristic of other rheumatic disorders, lupus also impacts internal organs and organ function. Rashes can develop on the face of an individual with lupus, and he or she may develop chronic chest pain and symptoms as dramatic as seizures. Often the blood is also compromised, and an individual may become anemic.

Rheumatic disorders can also be found in children. Symptoms are often the same, and conditions such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can settle into the joints of an individual as young as two years of age. Care is generally designed to alleviate pain and help the joints function as well as possible for as long as possible. Braces, the application of heat and cold, medications, and physical therapy are all possible treatments for rheumatic disorders in children.

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golf07
Post 4
My husband has osteoarthritis in both of his knees and needs to have both of them replaced. He works construction and this job has been very hard on his joints. He also has a lot of arthritis in his shoulders.

While many people we know have had knee and hip replacements because of arthritis, most of them are due to old age. My husband is quite a few years younger than some, but really can't put up with the pain much longer.

His knees hurt him if he stands on his feet too long and usually hurt and throb all day and night. He is thankful his arthritis is not an autoimmune disease, and hopes he will get relief from the pain after he has surgery.

sunshined
Post 3
One of the most frustrating things about an autoimmune disease is they are often hard to diagnose. I had symptoms of joint pain, fever and fatigue and went through all kinds of tests.

I had many of the classic fibromyalgia symptoms, but this is something that is never an easy or quick diagnosis. The fatigue is what seemed to bother me more than anything.

The longer it took to find out what was wrong, the more frustrated I became. Sometimes I think they thought all these symptoms were just in my head, but I knew something was not right.

It is also hard to treat an auto immune disease because your own immune system is turning against itself. I felt a little better when I finally got a diagnosis and began a treatment plan.

bagley79
Post 2

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis disease in my 40's. My doctor said this is a very common age for women to get something like this. My first symptoms were my joints ached and I was in pain all over my body.

I had some blood work done that showed I had rheumatoid arthritis. This is an auto immune disease that can be more debilitating that what many people realize. I am hoping to stay off the stronger medications for this as long as I can.

My doctor also told me the sooner someone gets this diagnosed and begins treatment, the better off they will be. I try not to let it affect my day to day activities, but know that I am not nearly as active as I used to be.

honeybees
Post 1
I remember my grandma always complaining of rheumatism and arthritis. Her knees would often make a cracking sound when she walked and bent down to do something.

She also loved to crochet, but as she got older, the arthritis in her hands bothered her so much that it was too painful for her.

She had osteoarthritis, which is very common in aging people. She said she could also tell when the weather was changing because her joints would always be sore and ache.

As far as I know she just took over the counter pain relievers to help with her symptoms. She didn't like to take medication very often, and only did this when the pain was severe. Most days she just learned to live with it and do what she could.

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