We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Rheumatology?

By Jane Harmon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Rheumatology is that branch of medicine that concerns itself with the arthritic complaints, mainly rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis. From the Greek word rheum, meaning a kind of watery buildup, rheumatoid arthritis, once commonly called rheumatism, was once believed to be caused by a build up of fluid in the joints, the so-called 'water on the joints'. This was probably due to the fact that inflamed joints swell, and the ancients attributed that to fluid buildup. Now any discipline that studies joint and cartilage disease and dysfunction falls under the general category of rheumatology.

Rheumatology divides cases of arthritis into osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteo-arthritis is characterized by the general breakdown of the joint cartilage over time. This causes inflammation and pain in the joint in question, which is treated with anti-inflammatories.

Rheumatoid arthritis is more systemic, a painful swelling in all or most joints at once. As the joints are used throughout the day, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms decrease as joints 'warm up', while osteo-arthritis symptoms increase when affected joints are used. If you have symptoms in one knee but not the other, for instance, you are probably suffering from osteo-arthritis and not rheumatoid arthritis.

Of particular concern to doctors practicing rheumatology is the loss of muscle mass and mobility associated with arthritis. It's only natural, if a motion hurts, to avoid repeating that motion. Unfortunately, this can create a vicious cycle, and the particular motion may soon become impossible as the patient loses the muscle and the joint stiffens with disuses. Physiotherapy, particularly the manipulation of the limbs, is useful to retain or regain range of motion.

Rheumatology treatments include analgesics for pain, anti-inflammatories for swelling, and possibly steroids such as cortisone shots in severe cases. To date, managing symptoms is the best that rheumatology can offer; a cure for arthritis seems as far off as ever.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources

Discussion Comments

By anon104766 — On Aug 18, 2010

I am suffering from pain in my left hand, starting from my neck. Also most of the time, it makes a tingling in my forehand and makes the hand strength less. Also sometimes or most of the times there is a burning sensation in my back. Please tell me what to do?

By anon95958 — On Jul 14, 2010

My sister went for the RA test last month and the result was 293. Today the doctor has done a re-test and her RA is 329. The doctor has referred her to rheumatology. What does this mean?

By anon61697 — On Jan 21, 2010

anon16197, it may be problem in back causing the burning sensation. I had a similar problem and my orthopedic found it was herniated disk. But I do not know about urinary tract infection.

By anon27796 — On Mar 05, 2009

I am feeling a burning sensation and pain in both of my legs, the right leg more, and it feels as if somebody is injecting me with needles. Also I am having a lot of urinary tract infections.

By anon16197 — On Jul 31, 2008

Hi, My father is constantly having burning sensation and pain in his hand and full leg, and he feels as if somebody is injecting him through needle. He is diabetic and having urinary tract infection too. can you tell me from which disease he is suffering, to which Doctor we should consult?

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.