About rheumatic diseases

What are rheumatic illnesses?

Arthritis is a chronic or acute inflammation of joints. Arthritis is one of the types of rheumatic illnesses. Rheumatic illnesses include not only pathological conditions of joints but also connective tissues. The ORTO Clinic specializes in the diagnostics and treatment of arthritis.

Arthritis is a common group of illnesses that is not yet completely understood. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis.

Typical signs of rheumatic illnesses:

Pain of arthritis can be constant and temporary. It can sometimes be strong and at other times easy to cope with. Arthritis pain can be more concentrated in a particular part of the body or felt in many places of the body simultaneously.

One or several inflamed joints (red, swollen). Some types of arthritis manifest as skin inflammation above the affected joint, resulting in redness and swelling.

Stiffness is one of the typical symptoms of arthritis, especially after getting up or prolonged sitting.

Limited movements in the joint associated with pain and/or difficulties to involve the joint in everyday activities.

Several concomitant illnesses are typical to the patients of arthritis, occurring in at least a half of all arthritis patients. According to the data of the Arthritis Foundation (http://www.arthritis.org) arthritis affects:

57% of the patients with heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions;

● 52% of adult patients of diabetes mellitus;

● 44% of the people with high blood pressure;

● 36% of the people with excess weight.

What causes arthritis?

Depending on the specific type of arthritis, this illness can be caused by:

  • Infection,
  • Inflammation,
  • General natural ageing of the body (degenerative process),
  • Specific metabolic disturbances.

Risk factors

  • hereditary factors – it is scientifically proven that the presence of certain genes increases the probability of suffering from arthritis. Frequently these genes are inherited within the family;
  • age – several forms of arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or gout) are more characteristic to elderly people;
  • gender – women get rheumatoid arthritis more frequently. On the other hand, men suffer from gout more frequently. Women are diagnosed with gout only in rare cases;
  • joint injury – with time, the injuries of joints sustained during sports activities or everyday life can become the reason for the development of arthritis;
  • excess weight - excess body weight creates additional loads to the knee, hip joints, and spine. Excess weight can provoke arthritis;
  • smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, as well as bad oral hygiene can also facilitate the development of arthritis.