Rheumatology represents a subspecialty in internal medicine and pediatrics, which is devoted to adequate diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases (including clinical problems in joints, soft tissues, heritable connective tissue disorders, vasculitis and autoimmune diseases). This field is multidisciplinary in nature, which means it relies on close relationships with other medical specialties.
More than 100 diseases are classified as rheumatic diseases, including many types of arthritis. Arthritic conditions are distinguished by red, swollen joints and inflamed connective tissues such as cartilage, synovial tissue, and tendons. Otherrheumatic diseases are considered autoimmune diseases, meaning that the body’s own immune system is turning on parts of the body.