There are more than 100 different sufferings fitting into the very broad definition of arthritis above. The fact that several of them are related can be sustained by the fact that many people who develop arthritis after an infection, or who suffer from Bechterew's disease, Reiter's disease, psoriatic arthritis, arthritis of the iris, or juvenile arthritis are born with the specific tissue gene of HLA-B27.
Some rheumatic sufferings occur during or after an infection which results in the immune system beginning to attack its own tissues, e.g. the articular cartilage. This is called an auto-immune reaction. The microorganisms most often involved in this are Chlamydia, Salmonella, Campylobacters, and Yersenia.
Moreover, other diseases have arthritis or sufferings similar to arthritis as their secondary symptoms.
Some of the arthritic diseases are described in separate chapters in the Health Problems category. Here are some of the examples of rheumatic diseases in a broad sense of the term:
Rheumatic fever - Febris rheumatica
The suffering starts with an inflammation of the throat in which the streptococci cause fever, pain, and inflammation after the ceasing of the quinsy. The symptoms can shift from joint to joint with only a few hours interval. Especially large joints are affected, but also the heart can present symptoms of inflammation. In some cases, the infection results in the immune system being wrongly coded making it start attacking the body's own tissues. The rheumatic fever sequelae used to have a fatal issue because of the contractions of the heart valves on account of scar tissue. Especially children and youngsters get rheumatic fever, but after the discovery of antiobiotics, however, the disease has become rarely occuring.
Various muscular- and articular pains can arise when the muscles are strained. This especially happens in case of static muscular work in which the muscles are being kept flexed for long periods of time. The accumulated lactic acid cannot escape and this causes the symptoms mentioned above. It is a clinical experience in many therapists that a lack of important essential nutrients worsen the problem significantly.
Bechterew's disease - Spondylitis anchylopoetica
A hereditary disease of unknown origin, afflicting young men in particular. An inflammation in the ligaments and joint capsules of the spine spread and eventually causes the vertebrae to grow together. Usually, the upper part of the spine is not affected. The suffering, however, is very painful, especially at night. It can occur as a complication of both psoriasis and Crohn's disease.
Mostly occurs in boys around the time of puberty. The suffering is caused by defects in the zones of outgrowth of the vertebrae resulting in stoop and sometimes chronic back pains. The disease ceases when the body is fully developped, but the back remains stoop and if there are symptoms, they seldom simply abate.
A tissue inflammation of unknown origin leaving scar tissue that results in the smallest blood vessels of the affected area - the capillaries - constricting and losing their flexibility. All organs are possible targets, but most often the skin and oesophagus is affected. The disease is presumed to be caused by disturbances in the immune system - the result of a viral infection or various poisonings.
Reiter's disease - Arthritis urethritica simplex
The suffering causes inflammation of the urethra, eyes, and joints. In some cases, other parts of the body, as well, are affected with inflammation.