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RHEUMATISM

Ankylosing spondylitis

Back pain

Capsulitis / Frozen Shoulder

Neck pain

Osteoarthritis

Psoriatic arthritis

Rheumatic fever

Rheumatoid arthritis

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Temporal arteritis

Tenosynovitis

Myositis

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Palindromic Rheumatism

Symptoms

Rheumatism Symptoms among Children

Causes

Home Remedies

 
The word rheumatism is derived from the Greek word 'rheuma', which means a swelling. Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.

The term "rheumatism" though used in colloquial speech is less often used in medical or literature. There is no longer any recognized disorder simply called "rheumatism".

Sources dealing with rheumatism tend to focus on arthritis. However, "non-articular rheumatism", also known as "regional pain syndrome" or "soft tissue rheumatism" can cause significant discomfort and difficulty. Furthermore, arthritis and rheumatism between them cover at least 200 different conditions.
The major rheumatic disorders currently recognized include:
Ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis or AS, is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. In the most advanced cases (but not in all cases), this inflammation can lead to new bone formation on the spine, causing the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position, sometimes creating a forward-stooped posture. This forward curvature of the spine is called kyphosis.
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Back pain

Back pain (also known as dorsalgia) is pain felt in the back that usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. It may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may radiate into the arm and hand), in the upper back, or in the low back, (and might radiate into the leg or foot), and may include symptoms other than pain, such as weakness, numbness or tingling.


Bursitis/Tendinitis, Shoulder pain, wrist, biceps, leg, knee (patellar), ankle, hip, and Achilles: Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa (the plural form is bursae) is a tiny fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. There are 160 bursae in the body. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.
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Capsulitis / Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder, medically referred to as adhesive capsulitis, is an inflammatory condition that restricts motion in the shoulder. The capsule of a shoulder joint includes the ligaments that attach the shoulder bones to each other. The connective tissue surrounding the (gleno-humeral) joint of the shoulder, becomes inflamed and stiff, and grows together with abnormal bands of tissue, called adhesions, greatly restricting motion and causing chronic pain. This severely limits your ability to move your shoulder normally. When this happens, your shoulder feels like it is "frozen" in place. You probably will have difficulty raising your arm in front of you or putting your hand behind your head or back.
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Neck pain
Neck pain (or cervicalgia) is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population having neck pain at some point in their lives. Pain in the neck can be due to: injury, a mechanical or muscular problem, a trapped nerve caused by a bulge in one of the discs between the vertebrae or from arthritis of the neck.  It can range from mild discomfort to severe, burning pain.   If the pain is 'acute' – sudden and intense – it's called a crick in the neck, facet syndrome or muscular rheumatism.   If the pain has lasted more than three months, it's termed 'chronic' neck pain.
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Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis (OS-tee-oh-are-THRY-tis) (OA) is one of the oldest and most common forms of arthritis. Known as the “wear-and-tear” kind of arthritis, OA is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. Cartilage is the part of the joint that cushions the ends of the bones and allows easy movement of joints. The breakdown of cartilage causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint.
Osteoarthritis is known by many different names, including degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, hypertrophic arthritis and degenerative arthritis.

Juvenile Arthritis:
See below
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Psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a specific condition in which a person has both psoriasis and arthritis. Psoriasis is a common condition. A person with psoriasis generally has patches of raised red skin with scales. The affected skin looks different depending on the type of psoriasis the individual has. Arthritis is joint inflammation.

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that your cells and antibodies (part of your immune system) fight your own tissues. Rarely, a person can have psoriatic arthritis without having obvious psoriasis. Usually, the more severe the skin symptoms are, the greater the likelihood a person will have psoriatic arthritis.
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Rheumatic fever
Rheumatic Fever is an inflammatory disease caused due to Group A streptococcal infection. It is so called owing to its similarity to rheumatism which involves medical problems affecting the connective tissues and joints. Typically, rheumatic fever develops two to three weeks after being afflicted by streptococcal infections such as strep throat or scarlet fever. Children between the age of 5 and 15 are more prone to get affected by rheumatic fever. The disease can affect many parts of the body such as the brain, heart, joints or skin. Recurring episodes of rheumatic fever most often affect people when they are between 25 to 35 years of age.

Rheumatic heart disease (a long-term complication of Rheumatic fever): Rheumatic heart disease was formerly one of the most serious forms of heart disease of childhood and adolescence.  Rheumatic heart disease involves damage to the entire heart and its membranes.

Rheumatic heart disease is a complication of rheumatic fever and usually occurs after attacks of rheumatic fever. The incidence of rheumatic heart disease has been greatly reduced by widespread use of antibiotics effective against the streptococcal bacterium that causes rheumatic fever.
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Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.

While rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness, meaning it can last for years, patients may experience long periods without symptoms. However, rheumatoid arthritis is typically a progressive illness that has the potential to cause joint destruction and functional disability.
Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease, its inflammation can affect organs and areas of the body other than the joints.

Inflammation of the glands of the eyes and mouth can cause dryness of these areas and is referred to as Sjogren's syndrome.

Dryness of the eyes can lead to corneal abrasion. Inflammation of the white parts of the eyes (the sclerae) is referred to as scleritis and can be very dangerous to the eye.
Rheumatoid inflammation of the lung lining (pleuritis) causes chest pain with deep breathing, shortness of breath, or coughing. The lung tissue itself can also become inflamed, scarred, and sometimes nodules of inflammation (rheumatoid nodules) develop within the lungs.

Inflammation of the tissue (pericardium) surrounding the heart, called pericarditis, can cause a chest pain that typically changes in intensity when lying down or leaning forward.
The rheumatoid disease can reduce the number of red blood cells (anaemia) and white blood cells. Decreased white cells can be associated with an enlarged spleen (referred to as Felty's syndrome) and can increase the risk of infections.

Firm lumps under the skin (rheumatoid nodules) can occur around the elbows and fingers where there is frequent pressure. Even though these nodules usually do not cause symptoms, occasionally they can become infected. Nerves can become pinched in the wrists to cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

A rare, serious complication, usually with long-standing rheumatoid disease, is blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis). Vasculitis can impair blood supply to tissues and lead to tissue death (necrosis). This is most often initially visible as tiny black areas around the nail beds or as leg ulcers.
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Systemic lupus erythematosus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by acute and chronic inflammation of various tissues of the body. Because the antibodies and accompanying cells of inflammation can affect tissues anywhere in the body, lupus has the potential to affect a variety of areas. Sometimes lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and/or nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called lupus dermatitis or cutaneous lupus erythematosus. A form of lupus dermatitis that can be isolated to the skin, without internal disease, is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is referred to as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
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Temporal arteritis
Temporal arteritis is a serious disorder that causes chronic inflammation of the large and medium arteries of the head, which supply oxygenated blood to portions of the head and brain. This inflammatory disease results in an inadequate supply of oxygen and nutrients in the brain and head areas.

Temporal arteritis is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. Temporal arteritis often affects the temporal arteries, which run over the temple areas next to the eye, but can also affect other arteries throughout the body. Temporal arteritis can cause a wide variety of symptoms that may affect the eyes, head, face and body in general.

Temporal arteritis is a relatively uncommon disorder, but it is the most frequent cause of vasculitis (an inflammation of the blood vessels). Temporal arteritis is also called giant cell arteritis and cranial arteritis. Temporal arteritis is more common in people older than age 50, and it affects women more often than men.
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Tenosynovitis
Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath (called the synovium) that surrounds a tendon. Symptoms of tenosynovitis include pain, swelling and difficulty moving the particular joint where the inflammation occurs. When the condition causes the finger to "stick" in a flexed position, this is called "stenosing" tenosynovitis, commonly known as "Trigger Finger". This condition often presents with comorbid tendinitis
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Myositis
Myositis is defined as the inflammation of muscles (“myo” means muscle and “itis” means inflammation). The inflammatory myopathies are a group of disorders characterized by inflammation and weakness mainly of the muscles closest to the trunk of the body (proximal muscles). These disorders include polymyositis, dermatomyositis and inclusion body myositis. Myositis may be associated with inflammation in other organs, including the joints, heart, lungs, intestines and skin. In dermatomyositis, a rash develops in addition to the muscle inflammation.

Muscle inflammation also can occur in people with other rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and scleroderma.
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand - houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body's peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.
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Palindromic Rheumatism
The older rheumatism definition included any pain in the muscles, joints, tendons and bones. This was then corrected due to advancement in modern medicine where any specific pain in the joints is defined as rheumatoid arthritis.

Another painful condition that may often be mistaken for rheumatism arthritis is Palindromic rheumatism or PR. Referred to as the Hench-Rosenberg syndrome after the two medical experts who suggested the medical term, this painful joint condition seems to recur over a period of time. In fact, the linguistic term palindrome applies to words like Mom, Dad, gag, and so on, which mean the same if you read them in either direction. In this case, it signifies a back and forth reaction. Palindromic rheumatism describes the back and forth pain of this condition.

Palindromic rheumatism may also seem like a ‘moving’ condition. It may affect several different joints at once or may recur in different joints over a period giving the impression that the pain is moving through the various joints. The biggest difference between Palindromic rheumatism and rheumatism arthritis is that the former does not cause any permanent joint damage and may also occur in soft tissues away from the joints.

It is very difficult to predict and diagnose Palindromic rheumatism since the swelling and pain may last for a few hours or a few days and then subside. Between Palindromic rheumatism attacks, there is no trace at all of swelling and inflammation. Many individuals who suffer from Palindromic rheumatism may go on to develop rheumatoid arthritis or arthritis of the bones. Hence, a wrong diagnosis may occur in the case of different types of arthritis.

Although these disorders probably have little in common in terms of their epidemiology, they do share two characteristics: they cause chronic (though often intermittent) pain, and they are difficult to treat. They are also, collectively, very common.

Rheumatic disorders affect the joints of millions of individuals worldwide. Rheumatoid arthritis is found most commonly in women, and manifests itself with stiffness and swelling in the joints as well as lumps that can severely disfigure the joints. These are called rheumatoid nodules, and are typically found in the hands. This disfigurement, along with severe pain and fever, can make performing tasks requiring fine motor skills extremely difficult if not impossible.

Gout is a common rheumatic disorder that can manifest itself suddenly, when an abnormally high amount of uric acid builds up in the body. This buildup of uric acid can happen for a number of reasons, and makes joints become not only painful, but red and swollen as well. Extremities are usually among the first to show signs of gout; those who are overweight or on certain types of medications and vitamins can be susceptible to attacks. These attacks are typically over in a few days to a week and a half, but recurring attacks are common.

An autoimmune disease that has the joint stiffness characteristic of other rheumatic disorders, lupus also impacts internal organs and organ function. Rashes can develop on the face of an individual with lupus, and he or she may develop chronic chest pain and symptoms as dramatic as seizures. Often the blood is also compromised, and an individual may become anemic.
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Symptoms
Fever, Pain, Intense Soreness and Stiffness

The onset of the acute variety of rheumatism is characterized by fever, intense soreness, and pain. In the acute muscular type, the area becomes so sensitive that even the weight of bed clothing aggravates the pain. It may settle into a chronic state under a wrong mode of treatment. If the disease is not treated properly in the acute stage, it may become chronic. The symptoms of chronic muscular rheumatism are pain and stiffness of the affected muscles. In the case of chronic articular rheumatism (pain in the joints), pain and stiffness are felt in one or more joints of the body, with swelling in most cases.

Early diagnosis of rheumatism symptoms could help individuals to stop permanent damage. This could be done with the help of oral medication and physical therapy All this would help to correct joint posture. Rheumatism arthritis is a result of the body’s autoimmune malfunction. Because of this malfunction, the body attacks the synovium or synovial fluid, the gel-like lining on the soft tissue that surrounds and protects your joints, leaving it inflamed. The inflammation thickens the synovium, which may push against the joints causing misalignment or misshapen joints.

Studies show that a greater percentage of women than men are likely to suffer from rheumatism arthritis. Demographics suggest that individuals in the age group of 40 to 60 years are more likely to experience pain due to rheumatism arthritis.

Early rheumatism symptoms may include persistent pain in the joints along with swelling.
Apart from pain and swelling, if your joints are tender to the touch, you may suffer from rheumatism arthritis.
Individuals suffering from rheumatism arthritis may also experience persistent fevers and chills.
Fever may be accompanied by a feeling of fatigue.
Swollen hands that are burning red and hot to the touch are another indication of rheumatism arthritis.
Individuals suffering from rheumatism arthritis may find prolongated symptoms of morning soreness in their limbs.
Some individuals may also notice a nodule like growth underneath the skin on their arms.
Rapid weight loss is also a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
Many of the above symptoms are also common to other bone or joint conditions such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and arthritis. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor if you identify any of these rheumatism arthritis symptoms and get a proper diagnosis of the condition.

Beside these signs and symptoms, Ayurveda has told two unique things, first rheumatoid arthritis always follows anemia and the second one is before attacking on joints it starts showing some signs related with the digestive system also. These signs are:

Loss of appetite
Foul smell in stools and fart
Sticky stool, hard to flush properly
Excessive urination
Flatulence, bloating and many other gastro-intestinal tract related upsets
These sign and symptoms are to alarm one about the next coming dangerous disease of Rheumatoid arthritis so that an individual can stop this disease to appear in full.

According to Ayurveda the systemic symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are described as follows:

  1. Body pain (angamarda)
  2. Distaste to food (aruchi)
  3. Thirst.  (trishna)
  4. Malaise. (aalasya)
  5. Fever.  (jwara)
  6. Indigestion. (apaaka)
  7. Weakness   (shoonata
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Rheumatism Symptoms among Children
Although rheumatism symptoms are more common among adults, the number of children suffering from the same condition is skyrocketing nowadays. Statistically, as much as 30,000 kids have now developed rheumatism.

When talking about rheumatism symptoms in children, it is known as an autoimmune disorder that manifests inflammation of the joints that can affect any children 15 years old and below. Similar to adult rheumatism, the exact cause cannot be determined but genetic factors are believed to be involved in this case. Typically, children with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis have high chances of developing the disease.

Also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA, rheumatism in children have three classifications:

1.) Polyarticular JRA
This condition is more common among girls than in boys. This is a very painful condition where at least five joints are inflamed. Typically, joints that are affected are those that receive a lot of weight such as the hands.

2.) Pauciarticular JRA
This is the condition where up to four joints can be affected with the inflammation. The joints that are usually inflamed are the wrists and the knees. There are also some cases where even the sufferer’s iris is affected.

3.) Systemic JRA
The rheumatism symptoms in this condition are somehow unique. It starts with an on and off type of hyperthermia at night but suddenly decreases at daytime. As the fever continues, generalized rashes will soon develop and enlargement of the lymph nodes will also take place. Finally, there will be an inflammation of the joints.

The exact causes of rheumatism symptoms among children cannot specifically be detected. Doctors believe that the autoimmune disease develops when the defense cells are unable to tell the difference between healthy cells and harmful agents. Instead of combating the harmful pathogens, the immune system’s white blood cells may destroy the healthy cells of the body. This aberrant process can develop the inflammation of the joints and this can be very painful for the child. Here are some visible signs of those rheumatism symptoms among children:

1.    Swelling of the joints associated with redness
2.    Painful sensations in the fingers, writs or the knee; Presence of abnormal heat and soreness may also be observed on the knee
3.    On and off appearance of rashes
4.    Stiffness of the joints, hips and the neck
5.    Developing hyperthermia at night and the body temperature decreases in the morning
6.    Steady decline in weight due to intermittent fever
7.    Inflammation of the iris together with the joints

To diagnose if the child is suffering from rheumatism symptoms, the doctor usually order a complete blood assay in order to determine the counts in the white blood cells, red blood cells and even the platelets. Tests are also implemented to detect any presence of bacterial infection in the blood. Furthermore, erythrocyte sedimentation rate are also done since the rate escalates when there is inflammation.

If a child is positive from experiencing rheumatism symptoms, the test detects the presence of the rheumatoid factor in the blood as well as the antinuclear antibody. If the inflammation of the iris is also present, the doctor can truly diagnose rheumatism.

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Causes
Rheumatism, also known as rheumatoid arthritis, is a condition that is more predominant in women than men, and it usually strikes individuals sometime between 40 and 60 years of age. However, men can get rheumatism too, and it can occur before the age of 40 and after the age of 60. And although the medical community does understand the physical process that leads to the condition of rheumatism (white blood cells going awry), they do not know exactly what prompts this process to actually occur in the body in the first place.

The Immune System's Role
Our immune system is a fine-tuned machine, and it works in perfect harmony with other systems within the human body--if each part is in its proper place and performing as expected. But when one area of our body is suddenly faced with an unexpected "visitor" from another part (where none should be), our immune system responds accordingly. In the case of rheumatism, it responds by creating inflammation in the joint area.

The Role of Inflammation and Protein
Unfortunately in this case, that inflammation, in turn, prompts the dispensing of protein to the membrane site (the synovium) that surrounds the joint. This protein is dispensed in an effort to further insulate the threatened joint against the "unexpected visitor" (the white blood cells). This protein attempts to protect the joint by thickening the synovium membrane around the joint.

The dispersal of protein and its role in the thickening process of the synovium--meant to be a safeguard for the joint--will eventually lead to the deterioration (rheumatism) and destruction of the joint altogether. This is because continued thickening of the synovium (with protein) actually eats away at the bone of the joint over a period of time (months or years), as well as creating deformity in the joint's shape.

Toxic waste products in the blood
The chief cause of rheumatism is the presence of toxic waste products in the blood. The liberal consumption of meat, white bread, sugar, and refined cereals leaves a large residue of toxic wastes in the system. When the vitality is low, the toxic wastes are concentrated around the joints and bony structure, where they form the basis of rheumatism

Infection of teeth, tonsils and gall-bladder
In certain cases, infection from the teeth, tonsils, and gall-bladder may produce rheumatism. The disease is aggravated by exposure to cold water
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Home Remedies

Mix some dry ginger, black pepper and rock salt in the juice of a fresh ginger stem. Make a powder of this. Take this in quantity of three grams with honey.



Massaging with the oil extracted from Bishops Weed seeds directly on the painful joints helps to relieve the pain. Another way to use Bishops Weed is to boil some seeds in water and allow the vapors to pass over the affected joints.
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