Rheumatism is a general term that is used to describe the symptom of pain that arises from inflammatory changes in joints, muscles and the surrounding, supportive soft tissues. The word rheumatism means ‘to flow like a river’ from the Latin ‘rheuma’ indicating the quality of the pain which can flow through all tissues in the body.
Rheumatic pain can be caused by many different disorders, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, scleroderma, dermatomyositis and gout.
Treatment depends mainly on an accurate diagnosis of the source of the pain from which a patient specific treatment plan can be formed.
This information is for general educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional. The information should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health. Always consult your family doctor or pharmacist about your individual circumstances.