Medical Definition of Rheumatism

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Rheumatism: An older term used to describe a number of painful conditions of muscles, tendons, joints, and bones. Rheumatic conditions have been classified as localized (confined to a specific location, such as bursitis and tendonitis), regional (in a larger region, such as chest wall pain), or generalized (affecting many and diverse parts of the body, as in fibromyalgia). Rheumatic diseases and conditions are characterized by symptoms involving the musculoskeletal system; many also feature immune system abnormalities.

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The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018