Arthritis and Rheumatism

Welcome to Arthritis and Rheumatism – Your Complete Information Resource

Arthritis and rheumatism are terms that many people use to describe painful joint inflammation symptoms. The thing is, they’re not really the same thing. Arthritis is a very specific condition, whereas rheumatism on the other hand, is much more general. Whereas arthritis is focused on the joints, rheumatism (sometimes called ‘rheumatic disorder’) is an older term that is more concerned with connective tissue and the joints.

We can take it a step further – “Rheumatology” is a term used for the study into possible cures or at least, therapeutic remedies, for inflammatory conditions. But the term “rheumatism” itself, is not actually a medical term describing any particular disorder. It is more colloquial in nature and originated from diseases such as “rheumatic fever” which was quite common over a century ago.

There is an American monthly journal called “Arthritis and Rheumatism” published by the American College of Rheumatology. It contains peer reviewed articles on diagnosis, treatment, laboratory research, and socioeconomic issues related to all forms of rheumatic disease. If you become a member of the College, a subscription to this publication is included.

Rheumatic diseases are not limited to arthritic conditions. They also include a broad range of imflammatory disorders including – Fibromyalgia, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Scleroderma, Spondyloarthropathies, Infectious arthritis, Gout, Polymyalgia rheumatica, Polymyositis, Psoriatic arthritis, Bursitis and Tendonitis.

Now when it comes to Arthritis, there are two main categories:

1. Osteoarthritis – also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual loss of cartilage and resulting in the development of bony spurs and cysts at the margins of the joints. The name osteoarthritis comes from three Greek words meaning bone, joint, and inflammation. Osteoarthritis more often than not, results from an old injury, joint infection or simply old age. It is therefore more common in elderly people.

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis – is a systemic inflammatory disease which manifests itself in multiple joints of the body. The inflammatory process primarily affects the lining of the joints, but can also affect other organs. The inflamed joint leads to erosions of the cartilage and bone and sometimes joint deformity. Pain, swelling, and redness are common joint manifestations. Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily an autoimmune system dysfunction and unlike osteoarthritis, can be fatal.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the most common. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, due to joint injury, joint infection, or age. Osteoarthritis tends to affect older individuals. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and some other autoimmune diseases are other forms of arthritis.

For both arthritis and rheumatism there is one unfortunate constant – joint pain.

At Arthritis and Rheumatism, our aim is to explore a number of issues which will be important to arthritis sufferers – including pain management, natural remedies, latest research and findings, reviews of pharmaceutical applications such as drugs and topical applications, what causes arthritis, physical therapy, nutritional therapy, the emotional and psychological effects of dealing with the condition and support groups that are available.

So take a look around our site by clicking on any of the links in the sidebar. Hopefully, you will find information that will at least provide some comfort, if not inspiration in dealing with arthritis and rheumatism – whatever form it takes.