A Primer About Different Rheumatology Diseases

Rheumatology Arthritis
Rheumatology Arthritis
Rheumatology Diseases
Rheumatology Diseases

Rheumatology diseases are caused by autoimmunity that affects the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons, causing severe pain and inflammation. They are also known as musculoskeletal diseases because they primarily affect muscles and skeletal structures. One of the most well-known rheumatic diseases is arthritis that causes joint pain and swelling. The medical field that deals with these conditions is called rheumatology. The purpose of this article is to give you a better understanding of different types of rheumatic disorders; read ahead to know more about them.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis develops when the immune system attacks healthy tissues of the joints in your body causing severe pain, swelling, and stiffness. It is diagnosed with a blood test to check for antinuclear antibody (ANA), C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP), and complete blood count. This is a debilitating condition that cannot be cured, and its symptoms are listed below.

  • Swelling and pain in joints; usually to the same joints on either side of the body.
  • Joint stiffness
  • Rheumatoid nodules
  • Problems to other body parts like eyes and lungs.
  • Fatigue (this is one of the most common rheumatology symptoms).


Lupus also is known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), and it is an autoimmune disease affecting different parts of the body. It is diagnosed by physical examination, checking medical history, and doing lab tests of blood and urine samples. The blood tests for this condition are antinuclear antibody test (ANA), anti-double-stranded DNA (Anti -dsDNA), and anti-smith antibody (Anti-Sm). The symptoms of lupus are listed below, and keep in mind that they vary from person to person.

  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to sun
  • Rashes
  • Hair loss
  • Problems for other organs like the kidney.
  • Inflammation to the lining of the heart and lungs causing chest pain.
  • Fingers or toes turn into white or blue when exposed to cold.
  • Stroke or seizures.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a rheumatoid disease that affects the spine, and most often it affects young men below the age of 30. It starts as lower back pain involving the sacroiliac joints, i.e. the joints that attach the spine to the pelvis. It is diagnosed with a physical examination and checking your medical history. Apart from this, doctors ask you to get X-rays of sacroiliac joints and blood tests to confirm the presence of HLA-B27. Listed below are the most common symptoms of this rheumatoid disease.

  • Pain in the buttocks and lower back.
  • Worsening lower back pain working its way up the spine.
  • Pain between the neck and shoulder blades.
  • In advanced cases, pain in the middle and upper back.
  • Pain and stiffness of the back, it gets better after physical activity.

There are other rheumatology diseases as well, and their symptoms are similar to those discussed above.