Musculoskeletal disorders or rheumatic diseases include a diverse group of more than 200 health conditions affecting your joints, muscles, and connective tissues throughout your body. Prabhu Ram, MD, has extensive experience treating the full range of these painful disorders at his practice, Ram Clinic PC in Norwood, Massachusetts. If you develop symptoms, such as joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue, book an appointment online or over the phone right away.
As an internal medicine specialist, Dr. Ram is highly trained to diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases, which are also called musculoskeletal diseases. This includes a large group of painful conditions affecting joints, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain, inflammation, and a subsequent loss of function or movement. In some cases, these diseases can affect your internal organs, eyes, skin, and nervous system.
You might have a rheumatic disease if you experience any of the following joint symptoms:
Extreme fatigue is another common symptom of rheumatic disease. Research shows that severe fatigue affects 41-57% of patients with a single rheumatic disease, such as arthritis, lupus, or ankylosing spondylitis. At least 82% of those with fibromyalgia struggle with extreme fatigue, where it’s a core symptom.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects your joints and may attack other organs in your body. Systemic lupus erythematosus, the most common form of lupus, affects many different organ systems, especially the kidneys, joints, and skin.
A few typical symptoms of lupus are extreme fatigue, a low-grade fever, joint pain and stiffness, and a butterfly-shaped rash across your cheeks and nose. Some types of lupus only affect your skin, causing a round, scaly rash.
Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, develops over years of wear-and-tear that breaks down the cartilage found on the ends of bones in your joints. As cartilage wears away, the bones rub against one another, causing pain, stiffness, inflammation, and bone spurs.
The second most common type of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease that develops when your immune system attacks tissues lining your joints. As a result, the joints become inflamed and swollen. Without treatment, ongoing inflammation can erode the bones, causing joint deformity.