Patient Education

Rheumatology covers a broad range of diseases, including degenerative conditions, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. This Patient Education portal, with external sources provided by the American College of Rheumatology, will help our patients and visitors stay informed about rheumatic disease, possible treatment options, and useful advice for living comfortably with rheumatic disease.

The following information is used for general educational purposes only. To receive a proper diagnosis, sign up for an appointment today!

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Abatacept (Orencia)

Abatacept (Orencia) is a biologic drug approved for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults, as well as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Anakinra (Kineret)

Anakinra (Kineret) is a biologic medicine used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID), and other autoimmune diseases.

Anti-TNF Drugs

Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drugs are a class of drugs that are used worldwide to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and other conditions.

Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA)
Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks normal blood proteins, mostly present in young women.

Azathioprine (Imuran)

Azathioprine (Imuran) is a drug used to suppress the immune system and help treat symptoms like joint pain and swelling in certain autoimmune conditions.

Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition (CPPD)

Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition (CPPD) is a type of arthritis that can cause gout-like symptoms due to a different form of crystal deposit reaction.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Perhaps the most common nerve disorder experienced today, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects the main nerve located at the wrist on the palm side of the hand just beneath the skin surface.

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study performed by physicians and other health professionals in which new treatments are safely tested on volunteers.

Cryopyrin-Associated Autoinflammatory Syndromes

Cryopyrin-Associated Autoinflammatory Syndromes (CAPS) consist of three rare diseases related to a defect in cryopyrin.

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents, which have been used to treat some types of cancer. It is often reserved for more severe cases of refractory rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, myositis, and other rheumatic complications.

Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf)

Cyclosporine is a potent immunosuppressant drug sometimes used to treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

Dermatomyositis (Juvenile)

Juvenile Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease of the muscle, skin and blood vessels that affects around 3 in 1 million children each year.

Familial Mediterranean Fever (Juvenile)

Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is an inherited disorder that causes recurrent episodes of fever that most often occurs in individuals of Mediterranean and/or Middle Eastern descent.


Nost common in women, Fibromyalgia is a common long-term illness that causes widespread pain and sensitivity to touch.

Giant Cell Arteritis

Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) is a form of arteritis or vasculitits which involves the inflammation of blood vessels most often found near head, scalp and temples.

Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis

Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis is a form of osteoporosis that is caused by taking glucocorticoid medicines, such as prednisone, dexamethasone, and cortisone.


Gout is a form of arthritis that can cause intensely painful, swelling joints and/or bouts of arthritis that may come and go. Its symptoms and risk factors vary.

Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s)

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s) – GPA – belongs to a group of diseases characterized by blood vessel inflammation, usually beginning in the respiratory tract.

HCV and Rheumatic Disease

The Hepatitis C (HCV) is leading cause of liver failure, and can also cause arthritis, muscle pain, and vascular problems.

Herbal Remedies, Supplements & Acupuncture for Arthritis

Despite new and more effective treatments, many rheumatology patients still live with chronic pain and disability. Therefore, some people turn to herbal medicines and “natural” remedies to alleviate some of those complications.

HIV and Rheumatic Disease

HIV Infection can lead to rheumatic illness, including joint pain, arthritis, muscle pain, weakness and fatigue.

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) that is often used to treat mild rheumatoid arthritis or in combination with other drugs when treating more severe diseases.

Hyperimmunoglobulin D Syndrome (Juvenile)

Mevalonate kinase deficiency (MVK), formerly called hyperimmunoglobulin D Syndrome (HIDS), is an inherited syndrome where episodes of high fever with skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and abdominal pain can occur.

Hypermobility (Juvenile)

Hypermobility occurs in children and is best described as having joints that move beyond the normal range of motion. Sometimes, hypermobility occurs with symptoms related to rheumatic disease.

Inflammatory Myopathies

Myopathy is the medical term for muscle disease. Some muscle diseases occur when the body’s immune system attacks muscles.

Joint Injections (Joint Aspirations)

Joint injections or aspirations are the processes of extracting fluid from a joint and are performed in an office or hospital setting, often with a cold spray or other local anesthesia.

Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery is typically recommended to patients who have tried non-surgical treatment but still have joint pain. While it should be considered the last resort treatment option for patients, total joint replacement is one of the safest and most reliable treatments in any area of medicine.

Juvenile Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis that fall under the juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) heading, including Systemic onset JIA and Oligoarticular JIA, all involving long-term joint inflammation.

Leflunomide (Arava)

Leflunomide (Arava) is a drug used approved to treat adult moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis if other DMARDs are not properly controlling symptoms.

Localized Scleroderma (Juvenile)

Localized Scleroderma in children involves tissues below the skin that cause skin hardening, as well as possible changes in skin color and texture, and the underlying tissues may fail to normally grow.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, is a chronic disease that causes inflammation. People often confuse lupus with other health problems due to its wide range of symptoms.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infection resulting from a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which enters the body when certain infected ticks bite.

Metabolic Myopathies

Metabolic myopathies are genetic diseases that affect the body’s muscles. Metabolic refers to chemical reactions that provide energy, nutrients and substances necessary for health and growth.

Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall, Otrexup, Rasuvo)

Methotrexate is one of the most effective and commonly used medicines in the treatment of several forms of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. It is known as a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD).

Minocycline (Minocin)

Minocycline (Minocin) is an antibiotic sometimes used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is part of the group of antibiotics known as tetracyclines.

Mycophenolate Mofetil (CellCept) and Mycophenolate Sodium (Myfortic)

Mycophenolate Mofetil (CellCept) and Mycophenolate Sodium (Myfortic) are immunosuppressant drugs used in the treatment of several autoimmune diseases. They can affect the immune system and requires careful laboratory monitoring.

NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are some of the most commonly used pain medicines in adults. NSAIDs also can decrease inflammation, such as in arthritis.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a frequently slowly progressive joint disease typically seen in middle-aged to elderly people, where the cartilage between bones and joints break down.


Osteonecrosis, also known as avascular necrosis or aseptic necrosis, is the death of bone cells due to decreased blood flow.

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) occurs when the jaw bone is exposed and begins to starve from a lack of blood. Most cases of osteocronosis of the jaw happen after a dental extraction.


Osteoporosis is a common condition where bones become weaker than normal. There are no symptoms in Osteoporosis, so it may come to one’s attention when there is a fracture.

Paget’s Disease of Bone

Paget’s Disease of Bone is a disease where the process of rebuilding bone mass takes place at a faster than normal rate, leading to a variety of symptoms including arthritis, hearing loss, and fractures and discomfort.

Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Adenitis Syndrome (Juvenile)

This syndrome includes recurrent episodes of fever with aphthous stomatitis (mouth sores) and pharyngitis (sore throat with redness). The frequency of PFAPA is not known, but the disease appears to be more common than originally thought.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a common cause of widespread aching and stiffness that affects adults over the age of 50, especially Caucasians.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis that is seen in association with skin psoriasis. It causes joint pain and swelling that can lead to damage of the joint if the inflammation is not controlled.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon refers to color changes that occur in fingers and, sometimes, toes. Raynaud’s often occurs after exposure to cold temperatures and it occurs when the blood flow to the hands, fingers or toes is temporarily reduced.

Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in reaction to an infection by certain bacteria. Most often, these bacteria are in the genitals or the bowels.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of autoimmune arthritis, affecting more than 1.3 million Americans. RA is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion and function of many joints.

Rituximab (Rituxan and MabThera)

Rituximab is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that has not improved over time with other types of treatments. Therefore, it is usually given as two intravenous infusions.

*All Patient Education articles provided by the American College of Rheumatology.

Infusion Therapy Medications