Arthritis refers to a group of conditions affecting primarily the joints.
Rheumatism refers to a group of conditions affecting primarily the muscles, tendons and soft tissues.
These terms cover dozens of quite different disorders of the musculoskeletal system:
Acromegalic arthritis Joint pain, muscle weakness, widening of joint space evident on x-ray
Ankylosing spondylitis Inflammation of intervertebral joints of lower back gradually leading to curvature and then stiffening of the spine
Behçet’s Syndrome Inflammatory disease involving painful ulcers
Bekhterev’s arthritis Inflammation of intervertebral joints of lower back gradually leading to curvature and then stiffening of the spine
Bursitis Acute inflammation of bursae and tendon sheaths
Chondrocalcinosis, CPPD Calcification within joint menisci or articular cartilage
CPPD, Pseudo gout Calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposits affecting cartilage causing acute bouts of pain and swelling in one or more joints.
Crystal synovitis Deposition of uric acid salts in ligaments, joints, ears, etc.
Dermatomyositis Connective tissue disease causing changes in skeletal muscles and erythema of face, arms, thorax
Fibromyalgia Not inflammatory but may involve pain in muscles located near bone joints, fatigue, dizziness, morning stiffness, multiple areas of tenderness.
Giant cell arteritis Pain, stiffness, headache, scalp tenderness, visual symptoms, throat/jaw pain
Gonococcal arthritis Caused by infection from bacteria, virus, fungus, or possibly vaccinations. Each different infection can have different symptoms.
Gout Deposition of uric acid salts in ligaments, joints, ears, swelling of soft tissues, etc. Raised serum uric acid. Acute inflammatory episodes.
Haemochromatosis Genetic overload of excess iron can affect the joints, causing arthritis typically to the first two knuckle joints of the hands
Haemophilic arthritis Blood seeping into joint spaces can cause arthritis of the joints, predominantly the knees, ankles, elbows and shoulders.
Infective arthritis Caused by infection from bacteria, virus, fungus, or possibly vaccinations. Each different infection can have different symptoms.
Juvenile arthritis This term covers a whole spectrum of inflammatory and degenerative diseases that affect children.
Marie-Strumpell arthritis Inflammation of intervertebral joints of lower back gradually leading to curvature and then stiffening of the spine
Mixed connective tissue disease Arthritis of the joints is often part of this disease.
Muscle inflammation A disorder of the musculoskeletal system
Myelomatosis Bone pain in the spine and ribs, occasionally accompanied by symptoms in other joints.
Neuropathic arthritis, Charcot Joint Degenerative joint condition involving nerve damage, loss of sensation, pain, swelling, deformity to the joint.
Ochronosis Bluish black appearance to cartilage such as in ears, nose, palate, eyes; spine rigidity from calcification; possibly degenerative changes to other joints.
Ordinary arthritis, wear and tear arthritis Symptoms vary between mild and severe, gradual or sudden onset, and they can come and go.
Osteoarthritis Chronic degenerative joint disease, involving loss of motion and pain of varying severity
Osteoarthrosis or spondylosis Degenerative joint disease, symptoms typically involving pain on movement, grating noises, weakened joint structure, cartilage damage, weakened muscle tone.
Polyarteritis nodosa A connective tissue disorder, symptoms typically involve fever, muscle and joint pains, abdominal pain, nerve damage.
Polymyalgia Rheumatica Pain and stiffness frequently with fever, anaemia, weight loss, raised ESR, temporal arteritis, early morning stiffness.
Polymyositis A connective tissue disease with inflammatory and degenerative changes in skeletal muscles, with weakness, tenderness.
PPAC - Progressive pseudo rheumatoid arthritis of childhood Hereditary disorder simulating rheumatoid arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis Stiff, painful, possibly swollen joints, with symptoms of psoriasis such as red, scaly skin rash and pitting of nails.
Pyogenic arthritis Caused by infection from bacteria, virus, fungus, or possibly vaccinations. Each different infection can have different symptoms.
Reactive arthritis Painful, stiff and swollen joints as a result of an infection. Often self limiting without causing any lasting damage.
Reiter’s syndrome Confined to males and associated with sexually transmitted infection, symptoms may include pain, stiffness affecting feet, ankles or knees, as well as ulcers and inflammation.
Reynaud’s syndrome Deficiency of blood supply to the extremities, i.e. fingers and toes, on even slight changes of temperature. It is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Rheumatoid arthritis Severe disturbance of general health involving many body systems; progressive disablement from painful, stiff, deformed joints; soft tissue swelling, erosions, muscle wasting, nodules, etc.
Sarcoidosis Vague aches and pains in muscles, bones and joints, malaise, cough, chest pains, etc.
Scleroderma: progressive systemic sclerosis Hardness of the skin, internal organs, and damaged blood supply
Sclerosis Connective tissue disorder involving thickening of the skin, dilated blood vessels, disordered eating/swallowing pain, Raynaud’s phenomenon, etc.
Septic arthritis Caused by infection from bacteria, virus, fungus, or possibly vaccinations. Each different infection can have different symptoms.
Sjögren’s syndrome The second most common rheumatic disease, frequently with constant exhaustion and a “hurt all over” sensation. Symptoms include scratchy, gritty, irritated, dry eyes, dry mouth, nose, throat, larynx, bronchi, skin; burning sensation in mouth or throat, hoarse or weak voice, difficulty swallowing. Salivary glands may be enlarged and painful.
SLE: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus A connective tissue disorder. Symptoms include fever, aches and pains in the joints, skin rashes with butterfly rash over bridge of nose and cheeks, alopecia, chest pain episodes. May affect the heart, brain, lungs and kidneys.
Still’s Disease In children, it is known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Adult Still’s disease is an inflammatory condition that may lead to chronic arthritis. Symptoms include achy and swollen joints, muscle pain, fever, rash, etc.
Temporal arteritis: cranial arteritis Symptoms include severe headache, with often muscle pain, fever, weight loss, etc.
Tenosynovitis Inflammation of the tendons and muscles. Often an injury due to repetitive movement, as in repetitive strain injury (RSI). Symptoms include pain, stiffness, aching, swelling and dysfunction such as inability to straighten a finger (Trigger Finger), or a loss of grip or strength.
Uveitis Previously known as Iritis, both are due to inflammation affecting the eye; can be associated with systemic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, sarcoidosis, etc.