Autoimmune conditions occur when the immune system sends inflammation to areas of the body when it is not needed causing damage/symptoms.
Rheumatic diseases affect your joints tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Among them are many types of arthritis, a term used for conditions that affect your joints.
Sometimes they’re called musculoskeletal diseases. Common symptoms include:
- Inflammation — swelling, redness, and warmth in a joint or affected area
- Joint pain
- Loss of motion in a joint or joints
Rheumatologists treat joint disease similar to orthopedists but do not perform surgeries. Common diseases treated by rheumatologists include osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, tendinitis, and lupus.
Many rheumatologists also conduct research to find a cause of and better treatment of a rheumatic disease.