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|Other names||Rheumatic disease|
Rheumatism or rheumatic disorders are conditions causing chronic, often intermittent pain affecting the joints or connective tissue. Rheumatism does not designate any specific disorder, but covers at least 200 different conditions, including arthritis and "non-articular rheumatism", also known as "regional pain syndrome" or "soft tissue rheumatism". There is a close overlap between the term soft tissue disorder and rheumatism. Sometimes the term "soft tissue rheumatic disorders" is used to describe these conditions.
Many rheumatic disorders of chronic, intermittent pain (including joint pain, neck pain or back pain) have historically been caused by infectious diseases. Their etiology was unknown until the 20th century and not treatable, like Lyme disease (in the Northern, Northeastern, and Appalachians of the US), coccidiomycosis or valley fever (in the Western US), and chikungunya in India, Africa, and South America. Postinfectious arthritis, also known as reactive arthritis, and rheumatic fever are other examples.
- Diffuse connective tissue diseases
- Arthritis associated with spondylitis (i.e., spondarthritis)
- Osteoarthritis (i.c., osteoarthrosis, degenerative joint disease)
- Rheumatic syndromes associated with infectious agents (direct and indirect or reactive)
- Metabolic and endocrine diseases associated with rheumatic states
- Neurovascular disorders
- Bone and cartilage disorders
- Extraarticular disorders
- Miscellaneous disorders associated with articular manifestations
Initial therapy of the major rheumatological diseases is with analgesics, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Steroids, especially glucocorticoids, and stronger analgesics are often required for more severe cases.
Before the 17th century, the joint pain which was thought to be caused by viscous humours seeping into the joints was always referred to as gout, a word adopted in Middle English from Old French gote "a drop; the gout, rheumatism", not to be confused with the present day specific term referring to excess of uric acid.
The English term rheumatism in the current sense has been in use since the late 17th century, as it was believed that chronic joint pain was caused by excessive flow of rheum which means bodily fluids into a joint.
- N. Altorok, S. Nada, V. Nagaraja, B. Kahaleh (2016). Medical Epigenetics, Chapter 17 - Epigenetics in Bone and Joint Disorders. Medical Epigenetics. Boston: Academic Press. pp. 295–314. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-803239-8.00017-X. ISBN 978-0-12-803239-8.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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- "Overview of soft tissue rheumatic disorders".
- Rheumatic+Diseases at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
- "rheumatism" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
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- Janeways: "immunology"
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- Barnhart, Robert K., ed., Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology, H.W. Wilson Co., 1988. Quote "The meaning of a disease of the joints is first recorded in 1688, because rheumatism was thought to be caused by an excessive flow of rheum into a joint thereby stretching ligaments"
- American College of Rheumatology
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - US National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases