If getting dressed in the morning is a great effort because the joints are stiff and the day can only be managed with pain, then those affected are usually suffering from a rheumatic disease.
This affects more than 17 million people in Germany, mostly older people, but also children and adolescents.
In rheumatology, people are cared for and looked after. But what is a rheumatologist? What diseases fall within the specialty of rheumatology? How these are triggered. How long can a relapse last?
What symptoms do those affected suffer from?? And how are the rheumatic diseases treated? Read in this contribution worth knowing. Interesting facts about rheumatology.
What is rheumatology?
Rheumatology is a medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. More than 100 subtypes belong to the rheumatic group of diseases.
The treatment of people with rheumatic diseases is carried out by a rheumatologist, i.e., an internist with advanced training in rheumatology. He initiates the medicinal therapy and cares for the patient in questions concerning rehabilitation and other supporting measures. All joint-preserving or joint-replacing operations, on the other hand, are performed by an orthopedist with specialized training in rheumatology.
The most common types of rheumatic diseases
Even if there is no such thing as THE rheumatism, all rheumatic diseases have one thing in common: They are painful, affect the musculoskeletal system, and become chronic.
Inflammatory rheumatic diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis, also called chronic polyarthritis, is the most common representative, more than 60% of all rheumatic diseases fall under it. The disease usually begins insidiously at the finger joints. The cause is a defect of the immune system. If left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to severe malformations. Lead to physical impairments.
In addition to rheumatoid arthritis, Bechterew's disease, psoriatic arthritis, collagenoses, systemic lupus, Sjorgen's syndrome, vasculitides and juvenile arthritis also fall into the category of inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Degenerative rheumatic diseases
So-called arthroses are joint wear and tear or joint changes that primarily affect the knee, hip, finger or shoulder. Pain and limited mobility increase over the years, but are usually better at rest.
Chronic pain syndromes
Whether chronic back pain, tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome – soft tie, tendons, muscles or bursa are irritated in chronic pain syndromes. As a rule, the painful manifestations usually occur due to overloading or incorrect loading.
Fibromyalgia, on the other hand, is a complex pain syndrome that causes extensive pain in muscles and bones and is accompanied by other signs of the disease, such as sleep disturbances or digestive disorders.
Metabolic diseases with rheumatic symptoms
In osteoporosis, bones become porous and susceptible to damage due to lack of calcium incorporation. The spine is particularly affected. Fractures can deform the bones and lead to restricted movement and severe pain.
Gout, a disease with elevated uric acid and purine blood levels, is also associated with rheumatic complaints. The big toe is usually affected. Symptoms are reversible with timely therapy.
What are the triggers for rheumatism?
Inflammatory-rheumatic diseases are in most cases an autoimmune disease. The immune system of the affected person reacts incorrectly after a malfunctioning. Classifies the body's own cells as damaging. As a result, there is an inflammatory reaction in the affected areas, so that they are irreversibly destroyed over a longer period of time.
Degenerative rheumatic diseases, on the other hand, are based on wear of the cartilage, so that the joint surfaces rub against each other. As a rule, these diseases only become apparent at an older age or in the case of severe overload or incorrect loading (for example, in the case of competitive athletes). Pain syndromes are also caused by hyperarthritis-. caused by incorrect loading.
Rheumatic metabolic diseases have their origin in the lack of production or in the excessive degradation of certain essential substances, so that an imbalance occurs. The deficiency of certain substances as well as the excess of other substances then leads to rheumatic complaints.