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All about rheumatism

What is rheumatism?

Multiple diseases

Contrary to popular belief, rheumatism do not concern one and the same pathology. This generic term is used to refer to all the disorders related to the musculoskeletal system, and more specifically to the joints, tendons, muscles and bones.

Behind the word “rheumatism”, can then hide a multitude of diseases, such asosteoarthritis, the’osteoporosis, the low back pain, the tendonitis, the fibromyalgia or the ankylosing spondylitis... The list is obviously not exhaustive! The common point between these various ailments, however, remains the suffering expressed by the patients.
In fact, rheumatism is always responsible for pain and inflammation, especially in the joints, but also in other areas nearby.

Who are the victims of rheumatism?

In the collective imagination, we sometimes think that rheumatism is only a disease of old age. It is not so ! On the contrary, rheumatic diseases affect a very large segment of the population, ranging from children to the elderly. You should also know that the average consultation age in the rheumatology department is 36 years old.

In addition, during an IFOP survey carried out for Inserm, 93% of French people claimed to have suffered from joint pain at some point in their life. Finally, rheumatism does indeed affect one in three young people, and about one in two young people believe that this pathology has had an impact on their family and social life. In total, there are more than 12 million people who would be affected in France alone …

What are the main symptoms?

The signs that should alert

Rheumatism manifests itself primarily by pains. The pains are usually more intense at night and in the morning. They can even cause nocturnal awakenings and cause a general and chronic fatigue.
In some people, rheumatism can also cause joint swelling. These swellings are generally present symmetrically. They most often concern the joints of the fingers and wrists.

After a period of prolonged physical inaction, rheumatic diseases sometimes cause stiffness in the limbs. These are particularly common upon waking, in the morning, or after a nap, and last between half an hour and an hour.

A real impact on the quality of life

Rheumatism is one of the main reasons for physical disability. They are also among the leading causes of hospitalizations and sick leave. Suffering from a rheumatic disease is therefore not a small thing! A rheumatological condition has both physical and psychological consequences. It can even lead to depression.

The chronic pain have a real impact on the daily lives of victims, which can obviously have a significant impact on morale. All this sometimes generates a vicious circle: the less the patient moves, and the more virulent the rheumatism, the more virulent the rheumatism, and the less the patient moves … It then becomes very difficult to break this infernal cycle!


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