The term "Rheumatism" defines certain medical conditions that affect the connective tissues and joints of human body. Depending on various conditions different rheumatic disorders have been recognised. Joint and muscle pain, swelling, inflammation are some common causes of such disorders. Most of these disorders have one or multiple causes and require several kinds of treatment.

The rheumatic disorders are also commonly known as autoimmune disorders as these diseases are mostly caused due to the hyperactive immune system. Joint linings and muscles are attacked by the immune system thus resulting in muscle destruction, swelling of joints and severe pain. Almost all the joints can get affected by more than 100 types of rheumatic diseases.

Different Rheumatic Diseases:

1) Osteoarthritis
2) Rheumatoid Arthritis
3) Rheumatic Arthritis
4) SLE or Systemic Lupus Erythematosu


Osteoarthritis – it is one of the most common rheumatic diseases found as an aftereffect of wear and tear to the joints. It is diagnosed as a normal sign of aging that affects many joints like knees, neck, fingers, lower back, hips and feet by damaging the cartilages gradually.

Various signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis on the basis of the joint affected are -

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Painful walking
  • Instability in joints
  • Muscles become weaker
  • Difficulty in holding objects, combing hair or bending over
  • Difficulty while sitting for a long time
  • Painful joints are found to be warm to touch



Rheumatoid Arthritis – this rheumatic disorder damages joints permanently as in this condition human body's immune system attacks own linings and tissues. Constant joint pain, stiffness, sweeling and severity of the condition causes deformity of joints.

Common symptoms perceptible in Rheumatoid Arthritic condition are -

  • Swelling and severe joint pain
  • Multiple joints involvement
  • Involvement of eyes and lungs
  • Fatigue
  • Rheumatoid lumps or nodules
  • Joint stiffness



Lupus – known as SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), this disease is also a common autoimmune disorder cause of which is still unknown. Antinuclear antibody test (ANA) is advised to the patients to detect this rheumatic disorder.

Symptoms are:

  • Pain in joints
  • Weakness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Skin rashes
  • Sensitivity to sun exposure
  • Hair loss
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Involvement of Internal organ (kidneys)
  • Anemia and low platelet counts
  • Low white blood cells
  • Inflammation causing chest pain
  • Strokes
Hand & Extremities >> Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Dupuytren’s Disease | Trigger Finger
Knee >> Overview of Knee | Knee Problems | Shoulder >> Overview of Shoulder | Shoulder Problems
Rheumatology | Hip Anatomy