Rheumatism

Definition:
Rheumatism or Rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the heart, bones, joints, kidney, skin and lung. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.The term “rheumatism” is still used in colloquial speech and historical contexts, but is no longer frequently used in medical or technical literature; it would be fair to say that there is no longer any recognized disorder simply called “rheumatism.” Some countries use the word Rheumatism to describe fibromyalgia syndrome. The traditional term covers such a range of different problems that to ascribe symptoms to “rheumatism” is not to say very much. Nevertheless, sources dealing with rheumatism tend to focus on arthritis. However, “non-articular rheumatism”, also known as “regional pain syndrome” or “soft tissue rheumatism” can cause just as much discomfort and difficulty. Furthermore, arthritis and rheumatism between them cover at least 200 different conditions.

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Rheumatism is a medical term once frequently used to describe disorders associated with many different parts of the body. Most often, people associate rheumatism with arthritis, or with rheumatic fever, a complication of strep throat that can result in damage to the heart. However, the term rheumatism might apply to the symptoms of numerous conditions that can cause pain and/or weakness.

Some conditions that were once given the general label of rheumatism or called rheumatic diseases include, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and tendonitis. Frequently autoimmune disorders, since they remained unnamed but caused pain as well as affecting other organs, were classed as rheumatism. Illnesses like lupus were particularly susceptible to being called rheumatism. Later understanding of the actions of these illnesses show that the problem is not dysfunction of the joints, but rather immune systems that can attack joints, muscles and organs.

Some forms of rheumatism are called non-articular rheumatism and may affect the soft tissues causing pain throughout the body. Conditions like tendonitis and fibromyalgia fall into this category. As well, non-articular rheumatism can be localized to specific areas in the body. Bursitis is a non-articular form of rheumatism that affects and inflames the bursa, which are special sacs that protect joints and overlapping muscles. Bursitis most frequently occurs at the site of one joint that may have been injured through overuse.

Other forms of non-articular rheumatism may also result from repetitive motion. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is classed as non-articular rheumatism and is often caused by poor position when typing, or by positional problems when assembling multiple products of the same type.

Another type of non-articular rheumatism is temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), which only affects the joints in the jaws. Numerous people are treated yearly, to help prevent the mouth from getting stuck when open or closed, or the painful popping and clicking that may be associated with moving the jaws.

The general term rheumatism is seldom heard now in medical communities because health professionals feel that specific naming of illnesses can better point toward standards or treatment and care. Treating lupus is hugely different from treating bursitis or TMJ. With more specified names comes specified research that can help determine a range of information about an illness. Overly general terms lack the specificity required to define the action of a condition, which best directs effective treatment.

Types
The major rheumatic disorders currently recognised include:

* Ankylosing spondylitis
* Back pain
* Bursitis/ Tendinitis, Shoulder pain, wrist, biceps, leg, knee (patellar), ankle, hip, and Achilles
* Capsulitis
* Fibromyalgia
* Neck pain
* Osteoarthritis
* Psoriatic arthritis
* Rheumatic fever
* Rheumatic heart disease (a long-term complication of Rheumatic fever)
* Rheumatoid arthritis
* Systemic lupus erythematosus
* Temporal arteritis and Polymyalgia rheumatica
* Tenosynovitis.

Although these disorders probably have little in common in terms of their epidemiology, they do share two characteristics: they cause chronic (though often intermittent) pain, and they are difficult to treat. They are also, collectively, very common.

Rheumatism symptoms:

Fever, pain, intense soreness and stiffness
The onset of the acute variety of rheumatism is characterized by fever, intense soreness, and pain. In the acute muscular type, the area becomes so sensitive that even the weight of bed clothing aggravates the pain. It may settle into a chronic state under a wrong mode of treatment. If the disease is not treated properly in the acute stage, it may become chronic. The symptoms of chronic muscular rheumatism are pain and stiffness of the affected muscles. In the case of chronic articular rheumatism (pain in the joints), pain and stiffness are felt in one or more joints of the body, with swelling in most cases

 

Rheumatism causes:

Toxic waste products in the blood
The chief cause of rheumatism is the presence of toxic waste products in the blood. The liberal consumption of meat, white bread, sugar, and refined cereals leaves a large residue of toxic wastes in the system. When the vitality is low, the toxic wastes are concentrated around the joints and bony structure, where they form the basis of rheumatism.

“Rheumatism” and weather

There has long been said to be a link between “rheumatic” pain and the weather. There appears to be no firm evidence in favour or against, but a 1995 questionnaire given to 557 people by A. Naser and others at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Pain Management Center concludes that “changes in barometric pressure are the main link between weather and pain. Low pressure is generally associated with cold, wet weather and an increase in pain. Clear, dry conditions signal high pressure and a decrease in pain

Treatment:
A vast number of traditional herbal remedies were recommended for “rheumatism”. Modern medicine, both conventional and complementary, recognises that the different rheumatic disorders have different causes (and several of them have multiple causes) and require different kinds of treatment.

Nevertheless, initial therapy of the major rheumatological diseases is with analgesics, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), members of which are ibuprofen and diclofenac. Often, stronger analgesics are required.

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Home Remedies for Rheumatism:

Rheumatism treatment using Potato Juice
The juice of raw potato is regarded as an excellent remedy fur rheumatism. One or two teaspoons of the juice, taken out by pressing mashed raw potatoes, should be taken before meals. This will help to eliminate the toxic condition and relieve rheumatism. The skin of the potato is also an excellent remedy fur rheumatism. The skin is exceptionally rich in vital mineral salts, and the water in which the peelings are boiled is one of the best medicines for ailments caused by excess toxic matter in the system. Approximately thirty grams of the potato peelings should be thoroughly washed and boiled in half a litre of water till it is reduced to half. The decoction should then be strained and a glass of the same should be taken three or four times daily.
Rheumatism treatment using Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd is considered beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism. A cup of juice, extracted from the vegetable, should be mixed with a teaspoon of honey, and taken daily for treating this condition. This treatment should be continued for at least three months to provide relief
Rheumatism treatment using Celery

Celery is another effective remedy for rheumatism. A fluid extract of the seeds is more powerful than the raw vegetable. This also has a tonic action on the stomach and kidneys. Five to ten drops of this fluid should be taken in hot water before meals. Powdered seeds can be used as a condiment
Rheumatism treatment using Lemon

Lemons are beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism. The patient should take the juice of two or three lemons each day. This will bring good results
Rheumatism treatment using Walnuts

Walnuts are valuable in rheumatism. They should, however, be thoroughly masticated to achieve beneficial results. Half a dozen can be taken daily in the treatment of this condition
Rheumatism treatment using Rhubarb

The herb rhubarb has been found valuable in rheumatism. The green stalks of this herb should be pounded with an equal quantity of sugar. A teaspoonful should be taken three or four times a day. This remedy seldom fails

Other Rheumatism treatment:
Warm-water enema
In the case of acute rheumatism, the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm-water enema during the first three or four days of the juice fast
Appply heat and hot packs to the affected parts

Other helpful methods in the treatment of rheumatism are application of heat and hot packs to the affected parts, a hot tub bath, a cabinet steam bath, dry friction, and a sponge bath
Hot Epsom salts bath

Hot Epsom salts baths are also beneficial and should be taken twice a week for three months in case of chronic rheumatism and once weekly thereafter. The affected parts should also be bathed twice daily in hot water containing Epsom salts, after which some olive oil should be applied
Fresh air exposure and light outdoor exercises

Fresh air, deep breathing, and light outdoor exercises are also beneficial
Avoid dampness and cold

Dampness and cold should be avoided

Rheumatism diet

Orange juice and water
In the case of acute rheumatism, the patient should be put on a short fast of orange juice and water for three or four days. After the juice fast, the patient should be placed on a restricted diet for fourteen days. In this regimen, orange or grapefruit may be taken for breakfast; lunch may consist of raw salad of seasonal vegetables with raisins, prunes, figs, or dates; and dinner may comprise of one or two steamed vegetables
Well-balanced diet

Thereafter, the patient may gradually adopt a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits. In case of chronic rheumatism, the patient may be placed on an all-fruit diet for four or five days. He may, thereafter, gradually adopt a well-balanced diet. The patient should take ripe fruits, fresh vegetables, and buttermilk in abundance
Avoid meat, indigestible and highly-seasoned foods

He should avoid all meat and fish; white bread, sugar, and refined cereals; rich, indigestible and highly-seasoned foods; tea and coffee; alcohol; sauces, pickles, and condiments.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheumatism

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-rheumatism.htm

http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/remedy/Rheumatism.html

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