Rheumatic diseases may cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints and other supporting body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Arthritis, itself a group of more than 100 different diseases, is one category of rheumatic diseases. However, rheumatic diseases can affect other areas of the body, including internal organs. Some rheumatic diseases involve connective tissues (called connective tissue diseases), while others may be caused by autoimmune disorders, which are diseases involving the body’s immune system attacking its own healthy cells and tissues.
A rheumatologist is a physician who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases that may affect joints, muscles, bones, skin, and other tissues. Rheumatologists are specially trained to identify many types of rheumatic diseases in their earliest stages, including arthritis, many types of autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pain, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and osteoporosis. CHOC Rheumatology specialists are committed to the early intervention necessary to maximize quality of life for children with rheumatic diseases.
In this segment of American Health Journal, Dr. Andrew Shulman, Rheumatology Medical Director at CHOC Children’s, helps us understand chronic pain, a condition where a patient’s sensitivity to pain is abnormal.
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