first Of all: rheumatism is not a single disease. Rheumatism is a collective term for over 200 painful conditions. These can be of different nature or origin. Also, the course or the damage they cause are many and various. In common, you have all that you show, especially of the musculoskeletal system and connective and supporting tissue. The pain occurs in the bones, the joints or the soft tissue (muscles, Tendons, bursae, etc.).

Rheumatic diseases most of the cases, in all in two categories: inflammatory and non-inflammatory rheumatism. Women affected twice as often as men. And: rheumatic disease as the number one in Switzerland, and resulted in higher costs than any other non-communicable disease.

Inflammatory rheumatism

The inflammatory rheumatism of all types and forms of Arthritis. So, any varieties of joint inflammation, and with very different causes. Even if you are, for example, follow a bacterial or viral infection. Further, we count inflammatory diseases of the spine, the joints and vessels, and connective tissue disorders to this category.

the most common of The inflammatory forms is called rheumatoid Arthritis. It manifests itself typically by joint pain of the day and in the night, morning stiffness of the joints of at least one hour, and swollen joints, accompanied by a General feeling of illness with fatigue and exhaustion. In the early stage, usually only a few joints are affected. After a certain period of time, a so-called Polyarthritis, an inflammation of many of the larger and smaller joints of the body, but in almost all cases. Often the fingers and wrists affected.

Important in inflammatory rheumatism the quick diagnosis. The first months after the outbreak of the disease are crucial. In this so-called “therapeutic window” can be used to stop the immunological process, or at least sustainably changed.

diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases

The diagnosis is always made on the Basis of several findings. The physical examination, the laboratory findings and x-ray examination. In the blood changes and inflammation values, anemia, or various rheumatism typical antibodies can be detected. On the x-ray images, the doctor can see if there are changes in the joints to show.

the goal of therapy is to prevent more and more joints are destroyed. Different therapy methods are available. Including the therapy with pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications, Cortisone injections or physiotherapy and occupational therapy. It is not possible to cure rheumatism entirely. The symptoms can be alleviated. Mostly, rheumatism, however, takes a chronic course and progresses gradually.

For about 15 years so-called biologics are the rheumatologist also available. Valérie Krafft, the Swiss League against Rheumatism, said: “With these drugs, the disease process can be slow, or to a certain degree, stop. You give people the opportunity to lead a nearly normal life and improve the quality of life extremely.”

Non-inflammatory rheumatism

Degenerative or inflammatory rheumatic diseases include age – or wear-related diseases such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. These are very widespread and occur in older semesters, the most frequently. But also in the younger age can suffer from premature cartilage damage. About by an accident, deformities in the skeleton to high loads or metabolic problems. The therapy varies from disease to disease.

For non-inflammatory rheumatic disorders include all types of back pain, cartilage degradation, bone and connective tissue, and soft tissue rheumatism.

this Form of rheumatic diseases, the alleviation of pain is in the foreground. This is almost always gripped to drugs. “It is especially important to keep the joints healthy, but also movement,” emphasizes Valérie Krafft. Even when the disease has already broken out. So it can be prevented in many cases, to be resorted to at an early stage to strong medications or surgery is necessary.

It happens suddenly, often with complete freedom from symptoms. A sharp pain shoots up extremely fast in the area of the lower back. A witch shot up.

living with rheumatoid

“rheumatism, nowadays, is not a fatality any more,” observes Valérie clear Krafft. “However, it takes a few conditions, you have to organize.” Thanks to the new drugs, the inflammatory process can be stopped. “That is, someone who is used to go Hiking 30 miles a day, with the disease still 15.”

The specialist emphasizes: “we Often go with joint problems quickly to the orthopedic surgeon, however, in many cases, the rheumatologist would be sufficient, and in a short time, a improvement cause.”