Rheumatism is a general term that was earlier used to describe pain, stiffness, and tenderness of bones, muscles, and joints. This term is no longer used by medical experts. In fact, medical experts use another non-specific term called 'rheumatic disorders' to refer to various such conditions that are characterized by the inflammation of the joints, muscles, or connective tissue. These are several medical conditions that are categorized under rheumatic diseases. These include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, etc. The treatment options vary, depending on the underlying medical condition.
Contributing Factors and Symptoms
Genetic factors, immunological factors, hormonal imbalances, excessive intake of acid-forming foods, and accumulation of certain toxins in the body are some of the factors responsible for causing rheumatic diseases. The symptoms of these conditions mainly include inflammation and swelling in one or more joints, pain, and redness. The affected individuals might hear clicking sounds while moving the inflamed joints. Such conditions can also affect their mobility.
Those suffering from muscular rheumatism or fibromyalgia are likely to experience chronic pain and stiffness in the affected muscles. The pain increases with movement of the affected muscles. Soft tissue rheumatism, which is caused due to the inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments gives rise to symptoms such as swelling, pain, localized tenderness, and warmth in the affected region. The intensity of pain generally increases, when exposed to cold or damp weather conditions. It has been seen that stress can aggravate the symptoms of rheumatism to a great extent.
Since more than 100 conditions are grouped under rheumatic diseases, the treatment varies, depending on the underlying condition one is diagnosed with. Most of these conditions cannot be cured completely. The main aim of the treatment is to help the patients lead a normal life. If the patient has been experiencing pain in the joints, muscles, or bones along with swelling and stiffness, blood tests and X-ray examination would be conducted to determine the type of rheumatism. The treatment usually involves drug therapy, which might involve the use of analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids.
The treatment of muscular rheumatism generally involves the use of muscle relaxants. Those affected by rheumatoid arthritis might be given disease-modifying drugs to bring down the inflammation and alleviate the symptoms caused by inflammation. Following a daily exercise program or performing yoga might also prove beneficial. Dietary modifications may also help to a great extent. Other alternative healing therapies such as acupressure, acupuncture, massage, and aromatherapy might also help in giving relief. The application of hot packs to the affected area might also help reduce the pain and swelling.
Since stress can act like a trigger in case of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, it's essential to keep the stress level down. In such cases, following certain relaxation therapies can be of some help. You can also try some home remedies. It is believed that drinking 2 teaspoons of juice extracted from raw potatoes before meals can prove beneficial for people affected by these disorders. Extract the juice of celery seeds and mix 5 - 10 drops in hot water. Drinking it before meals will give some relief too.
Rheumatism does not refer to a single disease, but a group of medical conditions that are characterized by pain in the joints and connective tissues. So, if you ever experience any of the aforementioned symptom, seek medical help immediately. An early diagnosis will certainly help in controlling this disease. Drug therapy coupled with lifestyle-related changes form an important part of the treatment for such diseases.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert