CHI Memorial Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases are disorders that affect the musculoskeletal system, including the joints, bones, muscles, and connective tissues. These conditions can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and deformity in various parts of the body.
Some common rheumatic diseases include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: A chronic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can also affect other organs in the body.
- Osteoarthritis: The most common form of arthritis, which occurs due to the wear and tear of the joints over time. It causes pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): An autoimmune disease that can affect multiple organs, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, and lungs. It often presents with joint pain, fatigue, skin rashes, and fever.
- Gout: A type of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. It leads to sudden and severe attacks of joint pain, commonly in the big toe.
- Sjögren's syndrome: An autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the salivary and tear glands, leading to dry eyes and mouth. It can also cause joint pain and inflammation.
Regular follow-up visits with a rheumatologist are essential for managing rheumatic diseases effectively and preventing long-term complications. These conditions are often chronic and require ongoing care and monitoring to optimize the patient's quality of life.