Rheumatic disease

This page is written by registered pharmacists. We hope that the public could acquire professional and trustworthy health information from these pages. Ultimately, it would facilitate everyone to gain understanding on the therapies that they might need. The first theme page would focus on rheumatic diseases. The page will introduce some basic knowledge of the diseases and their pharmacotherapies.

If you have any enquires about medication, you are also welcome to use the ‘Ask My Pharmacist function on our page.


What are rheumatic diseases?

Rheumatic diseases are different from the ‘Wind-damp Pain’ which is frequently mentioned by the Chinese elders. ‘Wind-damp Pain’ is a condition in Chinese Medicine caused by ‘wind’, ‘coldness’ and ‘dampness’. It has nothing to do with rheumatic diseases.

Rheumatic diseases are medical conditions that affect bones, joints, and soft tissues with symptoms of pain, swelling, stiffness and deformities in the affected areas.


What causes rheumatic diseases?

Different rheumatic diseases have different etiologies. For example, osteoarthritis is caused by the ageing and wearing of tissues.  Some other types of rheumatic diseases are autoimmune diseases, which means your body’s immune system to mistakenly attack normal body parts and cause inflammation. Redness, swelling, hotness and pain are some common symptoms experienced in the affected areas. Other contributing factors include genetics and environmental factors.


Types of rheumatic diseases

Rheumatic diseases consist of over a hundred medical conditions. Each of them has distinct features and treatment approaches. Most of the rheumatic diseases are chronic diseases where long-term therapies might be needed to control the diseases.


Common rheumatic diseases include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Gout
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis