Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases
Diseases involving the movement system are called “Rheumatism Disease” or simply “Rheumatism”. Under this title, painful diseases that affect our tissues and organs that allow us to perform all movements related to our daily life, such as muscles, tendons, bones, joint ligaments and spine, should be understood. However, when rheumatism is mentioned in general terms, joint diseases come to mind first.
Joint rheumatisms are numerous and diverse. We can say that there are about 300 rheumatic diseases. Although the diagnosis and treatment methods of each of these are different, it is possible to talk about a number of general principles that apply to all of them. Accordingly, rheumatic diseases can be divided into two large groups as 1) Inflamed rheumatism, 2) Dry (Degenerative) rheumatism.
Inflammatory rheumatisms are diseases that can be seen at any age and are accompanied by pain, swelling, redness and limitation of movement in the joints. The most important inflammatory rheumatism is Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is mostly seen in women around 30-40 years of age and progressively progresses. This disease usually starts in the finger joints of the hands and feet, gradually spreads to other joints and makes daily life difficult. The second important disease is Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is mostly seen in men and involves the spine. It occurs around the age of 20-25, the initial symptoms are similar to herniated disc, the disease progresses gradually and causes calcification of the spine in the lumbar-neck region in the following years.
Regardless of the type of rheumatic disease, it is necessary to diagnose and start treatment as soon as the first symptoms appear. In cases where treatment is delayed, deformities and movement disorders develop in the joints, which further complicates the treatment. Since the exact cause of these diseases is unknown, there are some difficulties in their treatment. However, in recent years, in parallel with the developments in medicine, very new treatment methods and drugs have emerged and started to be used. For this reason, the most important issue is the detailed examination of the patient by a specialist physician and the determination of the treatment program to be applied.
Drug treatments are planned in the early stages of diseases. After the acute symptoms and symptoms such as pain and swelling are under control, physical therapy and rehabilitation should be started.
The purpose of physical therapy:
1. To relieve pain and movement restrictions
2. Improving joint movements
3. Strengthen the muscles
4. Improve the general condition
5. Improving the quality of life
Non-inflammatory rheumatic diseases are more common. The most common among middle and advanced aged patients is the joint disease called "Osteoarthritis" or "Arthrosis" in medicine and known as "calcification" among the people.
Arthrosis can occur in large joints such as hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders, as well as in small joints such as fingers. It is more in women than men. The main cause of the disease is the thinning, wear and eventually rupture of the articular cartilage over time. As a result, pain and movement difficulties occur. It is more common in people who are obese and have diabetes, those who do heavy work, and those with systemic disease.
Although the most important symptom is pain, the severity of the pain is not as intense as in inflammatory rheumatism.
In case of such ailments, the first thing to do is to consult a specialist doctor. After the necessary tests are done, the treatment is planned. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are more important than drugs in the treatment of arthrosis. Simple pain relievers can be used to reduce pain.
The aims of physical therapy can be summarized as follows:
1. Relieve pain and movement difficulties
2. Strengthening the muscles
3. To prevent joint stiffness
4. Improving the quality of life
5. To help people with excess body weight lose weight and strengthen their muscles
These treatments are sufficient to relieve the complaints in the vast majority of patients. Recently, injection treatments that are made into the joint and strengthen the articular cartilage have also become widespread. The most important issue in the treatment is to avoid strains to prevent further wear of the joint, to exercise and walk regularly every day, and to apply the treatment requirements under the supervision of a specialist physician.