OsteoarthritisSings is a degenerative disorder which arises from biochemical breakdown of the articular cartilage in the synovial joints. It...
Sometimes they’re called musculoskeletal diseases. Common symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Loss of motion in a joint or joints
- Inflammation — swelling, redness, and warmth in a joint or affected area
The medical field that studies these types of conditions is called rheumatology. If your regular doctor thinks you have a rheumatic disease, he’ll probably send you to a rheumatologist — a doctor who’s specially trained to treat them.
Your rheumatologist will examine you to diagnose your condition, then oversee a treatment plan for you that will likely include medications, regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and rest.
Common Rheumatic Disorders
Years ago, conditions like this fell under the broad heading of rheumatism. Now there are more than 200 distinct rheumatic diseases. Among the most common ones are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Spondyloarthropathies — ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA)
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Infectious arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
Diagnosis: Your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms. You’ll also get a physical exam. You may also need to get blood tests or let your doctor take a sample of fluid from an affected joint.
Usually by the time someone with OA seeks treatment, there are changes visible on an X-ray of the joint. The X-ray may show narrowing of the joint space or the presence of bone spurs. In some cases, your doctor might request an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to provide a picture of the inside of your joint.