There are more than 100 rheumatic diseases—that is, diseases that affect the joints, tendons, bones, muscles, and ligaments. Many of them, including relatively common ones like osteoarthritis, cause chronic pain.
If you think you may have a rheumatic disease, be sure to see a doctor. Early treatment may help prevent or delay the damage some rheumatic diseases can cause.
Here is a look at six of the more common rheumatic diseases:
Probably the most well-known of the rheumatic diseases is osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear of the joints. It often develops as we age, as the cartilage that cushions our joints begin to wear away. This can eventually lead to bones rubbing against each other, with no cushion between them, which can be quite painful.
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system goes awry and starts attacking healthy tissue. It can cause painful, inflamed joints and, in some cases, damage eyes and lungs.
This is an inflammatory disease that strikes men more often than women, often in early adulthood. It affects the spine, causing back pain and swelling. It may eventually cause some of the vertebrae (the bones in the spine) to actually grow together. It can also cause inflammation in other parts of the body, such as the eyes.
This is another disorder in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue. The first symptoms are often psoriasis, a skin condition that causes scaly red and white patches. In some people, the condition will turn into psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain and swelling. The pain may show up in various places, from the toes to the spine.
People with gout have high levels of uric acid in their blood, which can cause urate crystals to build up in their joints. This can bring on sudden and severe pain in the joints. Gout often shows up in the large joint in the big toe, but it can cause in any joint in the body. In addition to pain, the affected joints will likely be red, warm, and swollen.
Lupus, another autoimmune disorder, can cause symptoms throughout the body. It sometimes causes a rash to develop on the face and can include joint pain and stiffness, fatigue, chest pain, kidney problems, dry eyes, headaches, and memory loss.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain for any reason, it’s time to schedule an appointment at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. With multiple locations across the state of Utah, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain live the life they want to. To schedule an appointment, visit our locations tab!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.