Health Information

Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases

  • About Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases

    Arthritis, itself a group of more than 100 different diseases, is one category of rheumatic diseases.

  • Anatomy of a Joint

    Joints are the areas where two or more bones meet. Most joints are mobile, allowing the bones to move.

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

    Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Ankylosing means stiff or rigid, spondyl means spine, and itis refers to inflammation. The disease causes inflammation of the spine and large joints, resulting in stiffness and pain.

  • Bursitis

    Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursae) that cushions and reduces friction between tissues of the body. The major bursae are found near the tendons and large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.

  • Common Types of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases

    Detailed information on the most common types of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, gout, infectious arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lyme disease, low back pa

  • Arthritis Diagnosis

    Diagnosing arthritis and other rheumatic diseases is often difficult, as many symptoms are similar among the different diseases.

  • Gout

    Gout is a condition that causes inflamed, painful joints. The symptoms are caused by deposits of urate crystals at the joints.

  • Home Page - Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases

    Detailed information on arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, including types, diagnosis, treatment, and living with the condition

  • Septic Arthritis

    Septic arthritis is an infection in the joint fluid (synovial fluid) and joint tissues.

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is a disease that causes your body’s immune system to attack its own cells and tissues. It causes periods of inflammation to various parts of the body. It can affect your joints, tendons, and skin. It can affect blood vessels. And it can affect organs such as the kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain.

  • Ticks and Lyme Disease

    Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This spiral shaped bacterium is most commonly spread by a tick bite.

  • Online Resources - Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases

    List of online resources to find additional information on arthritis and other rheumatic diseases

  • Osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a chronic degenerative joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and older adults. Osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of joint cartilage. It can occur in any joint, but it most often affects the hands, knees, hips, or spine.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis

    Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis associated with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic skin and nail disease. It causes red, scaly rashes and thick, pitted fingernails. Psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in symptoms and joint inflammation.

  • Raynaud's Phenomenon

    Raynaud's phenomenon is a disorder that causes decreased blood flow to the fingers. In some cases, it also causes less blood flow to the ears, toes, nipples, knees, or nose. This happens due to spasms of blood vessels in those areas. The spasms happen in response to cold, stress, or emotional upset.

  • Reactive Arthritis (Reiter's Syndrome)

    Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs due to an infection. Arthritis is when joints become inflamed and painful. Reactive arthritis is not contagious. It's also known as Reiter's Syndrome. It mostly affects men ages 20 to 40.

  • Scleroderma

    Scleroderma is an ongoing (chronic) disease that causes abnormal growth of connective tissue. It can affect the joints, skin, and internal organs. It is degenerative and gets worse over time.

  • Topic Index - Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases

    Detailed information on the most common types of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, gout, infectious arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lyme disease, low back pa

  • Tendonitis and Tenosynovitis

    Tendonitis is when a tendon is inflamed. When a tendon is inflamed, it can cause swelling, pain, and discomfort. Another problem called tenosynovitis is linked to tendonitis. This is the inflammation of the lining of the tendon sheath around a tendon.

  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a form of arthritis in children ages 16 or younger. It causes inflammation and stiffness of joints. Unlike adult rheumatoid arthritis, which is chronic and lasts a lifetime, children often outgrow JRA. But the disease can affect bone development in a growing child.

  • Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain in muscles and soft tissues around the body. It is an ongoing (chronic) condition. It can affect the neck, shoulders, back, chest, hips, buttocks, arms and legs.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Women develop carpal tunnel syndrome three times more frequently than men. It usually occurs only in adults.

  • Low Back Pain

    Everyone has experienced low back pain at one time or another. Most people can recover from low back pain with home treatment such as activity modification, weight loss, quitting smoking and other steps. Sometimes medication or surgery is needed.

  • How to Manage Your Osteoarthritis

    Taking arthritis medication is important, but what you do for yourself, including exercising, doing relaxation exercises and managing your emotions and attitudes, is just as crucial to your ability to lead an active, productive life.

  • Genetics and Immune Disorders

    Severe immune disorders may be obvious right after birth. Other immune disorders may cause only mild symptoms and may not be noticed until later in childhood or early adulthood.

  • Disorders of the Immune System

    When your immune system doesn’t work the way it should, it is called an immune system disorder.

  • Dermatomyositis

    Dermatomyositis is a rare disease that causes muscle inflammation and skin rash. It’s one of a group of muscle diseases that cause muscle inflammation and swelling. It's different from other muscle diseases because it also causes skin problems. Dermatomyositis is the term used to describe both muscle and skin symptoms.

  • Polymyositis

    Polymyositis is a disease that causes muscles to become irritated and inflamed. The muscles eventually start to break down and become weak. The condition can affect muscles all over the body. This can make even simple movements difficult. Polymyositis is one disease in a group of diseases called inflammatory myopathies.