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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Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012