The origin of the word Rheumatology is from the Latin word “rheumaticus”, meaning "troubled with rheum," and rheum itself is a Greek word that means "flow." The word was first attributed to rheumatic disease because of how it appeared to spread or flow within the human body.
Guillaume de Baillou, a french physician first used the term “rheumatism” to refer to joint ailments in the 16th century. Later Thomas Sydenham described the features of rheumatic fever, termed as “acute febrile illness”. “Heberden nodes” were defined during the 18th century by the observant William Heberden. The term “rheumatologist” was coined by Bernard Comroe and Joseph Lee Hollander in the year 1940.
Rheumatology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the study of rheumatic diseases that affect joints, tendons, ligaments, bones and muscles. A rheumatologist is a doctor or physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal ailments and systemic autoimmune conditions.
Rheumatic diseases are usually inflammatory and often autoimmune in nature, which means that healthy tissues are damaged by the immune system erroneously. Rheumatic diseases affect the joints, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments etc which are parts of the musculoskeletal system.
Rheumatic diseases can affect various parts of the body and have distinctive symptoms. The common signs and symptoms include joint pain, joint swelling and stiffness, fatigue, rashes, sun sensitivity, hair loss, blue or white fingers or toes when exposed to cold, severe dryness in the eyes or mouth, pain and stiffness in the back or muscles, anaemia, malaise, lumps or redness in skin, and problems in other organs like the kidneys, heart or lungs, recurrent inflammation in the eyes. Some people even experience recurrent fever and weight loss.
Based on your symptoms, your doctor will conduct a physical examination including checking your joints for swelling, redness and warmth, followed by investigations such as blood test, imaging test - X-ray, MRI and Ultrasound if appropriate.
A rheumatologist will recommend treatment based on your medical history and results of certain investigations.
Some of the common rheumatic disorders include Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren’s syndrome, Gout, Pseudogout, Scleroderma, myositis, Infectious arthritis, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Polymyalgia rheumatica, Fibromyalgia, Spondyloarthropathies - ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), reactive arthritis and arthritis associated with Crohns disease or Ulcerative colitis.
Rheumatic disorders occur when the immune system does not function normally and attacks your own tissues. Sometimes it’s in your genes, the environment around you, including smoke, pollution, or infection may all play a role. Women are more affected by rheumatic disorders than men.
Rheumatic diseases are characterized by inflammation that affects our body's connecting or supporting structures. The most commonly affected parts include the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Spondyloarthropathies are known to be rheumatic diseases that mainly affect the spine.
Rheumatologists are trained in diagnosing and treating various rare and difficult to treat diseases. Certain auto-immune diseases such as lupus, vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. involve various organ systems apart from joints. They can be potentially life or organ threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated.
Seeking medical help from rheumatologists early if you have unexplained rashes, unremitting joint or muscle pain, anaemia, weakness, fever, weight loss etc will prevent major health problems.
A rheumatologist will conduct a thorough physical exam which includes assessing all of your joints from shoulders to your toes, as well as your heart and lungs. After the physical exam, lab tests such as blood test, urine test and imaging tests like X-ray, MRI scan, and ultrasound etc may be conducted to identify the underlying cause of your health problem.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease which affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. It causes joint pain, swelling, and severe early morning stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. While its cause is still unknown, RA happens when the immune system in our body malfunctions and attacks the healthy tissues. It quickly results in severe inflammation and extreme pain and swelling in your joints. It should be treated early in order to prevent permanent deformity in joints and disability.
A Rheumatologist is an Internal medicine doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, but they do not perform surgical procedures.
The treatments for RA include self-care, medications, stretching and physical therapy. Arthroplasty and joint replacement may be required for severely affected joints. The lifestyle modifications and home remedies include regular physical activity, limit alcohol intake, quit smoking and relaxation or adequate rest. Consult Aster CMI hospital for best Arthritis treatment in Bangalore offered at an affordable cost.