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Rheumatism

What is rheumatism?
Rheumatism is a general name for various disorders which affect the locomotive system: joints, muscles, tendons and soft tissues, and even the inner organs. It becomes most serious when it affects the weight-bearing joints – hips and knees. Altogether we are aware of 100 different types of rheumatism. Rheumatism is one of the most widespread “popular diseases”, and it ranks second after cardiovascular diseases in terms of the number of invalids. In essence, it means a chronic inflammation of joints and it causes much discomfort to those suffering from it. The symptoms include unpleasant pain in various body parts, particularly in the fingers, toes or wrists. A degenerative process starts in the joint cartilage, where water volume increases, and the cartilage softens and reduces. The joint overheats, gets inflamed, and swells. The cartilage wears down, loses its natural function of absorbing impacts, and bones rub one against the other, resulting in an overall joint inflammation. The pain intensifies and the flexibility and functioning of the joint is significantly limited. Thus far, the cause or stimulus of rheumatism has not been discovered. Genetic predisposition is believed to play a major part. It is certain that smoking enhances the disease.

When to see a doctor?
The following basic rule applies: those who suffer from swollen joints for more than 6 weeks and who need more than 1 hour to get moving in the morning should visit their doctor. The sooner the treatment begins, the better for the patient.

Can healthy diet help?
There is no diet for rheumatism! Mediterranean food has produced good results, which means a lot of fruit and vegetables, and fish more often than meat. In addition, one should try to reach an optimal weight and maintain it, sparing the joints. You should avoid eating too much red meat, sugars and white flour.

How to prevent rheumatism?
The best prevention is exercise, even at a young age to strengthen the muscles. However, it can also burden the joints, thus less extreme sports are perhaps more suitable.

Can one die of rheumatism?
Beyond joints, rheumatism also damages blood vessels, heart, liver and kidneys. These are crucial organs for life. However, patients do not die of rheumatism alone, but rather of cardiac and vascular diseases such as stroke. On average, it shortens one’s life by 10-15 years, but no one dies directly due to rheumatism.

Does it affect more men or women?
In degenerative diseases, the ratio is almost the same, with a slight majority of women. But rheumatoid arthritis, which is the most serious inflammatory and joint-deforming disease, is primarily the domain of women, with a ratio of three women to one man. On the contrary, inflammatory spinal disease, which makes the spine stiffen completely and renders it unmovable, affects men at a ratio of about ten to one.

Other rheumatic diseases
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), rheumatism is a general term for diseases affecting the locomotive organs.
We can distinguish between:
Arthrosis:
a disease of joint cartilage caused by improper or excessive burdening.
Osteoporosis:Losing of bone matter, when the skeleton loses its stability, and faces an increased risk of fractures.
Fibromyalgia: A special form of rheumatism. It is caused by muscle hardening, and is manifested via continuous pain in the muscles and tendons, and an increased sensitivity to pressure.
Rheumatic arthritis: Pain in the joints of fingers and hands, with stiff joints and deformations possible.
Morbus Bechterew: A chronic inflammation of joints, in particular of the spine. The spine may stiffen.
The main symptom is a deep and chronic inflammatory backache.
Gout:  A disease of metabolism, caused by a high concentration of uric acid in the body, resulting in joint inflammation. It can be hereditary or caused by an improper diet.

The most effective treatment methods in Health Spa Piešťany
Rheumatism cannot be healed completely even today. However, there are various excellent treatments which moderate its progression, making the patient relieved and improving his or her quality of life. All methods can be tried in Spa Piešťany, which has helped patients for several centuries thanks to its unique natural resources:
» Hyper-thermal therapy (mud pack, mud pool, mirror pool, thermal bath, peloid kinesiotherapy)
» Heat treatment (paraffin pack, parafango, dry hot compresses, Priessnitz´s packs)
» Water treatment (underwater massage, Scottish showers, alternating foot bath)
» Traction treatment (manual and mechanical traction, traction in water)
» Electro-treatment (galvanic therapy, ultra-sound, TENS, magnetic therapy, dia-dynamic currents)
» Rehbailitation exercises

Medication for rheumatism
1. Medication to moderate the pain, however, does not prevent damage to the joint.
2. Cortisone preparations used as anti-inflammatory medication; however, they have many side effects in the case of long-term administration, such as osteoporosis or diabetes.
3. New costly therapies – on the one hand, these are based on knowledge from treating cancer: patients are administered low doses of medication directly affecting the immune system. It can slow down the damage to the joint. On the other hand, a therapy of genetically-prepared injections exists. This medication intervenes in the inflammatory process; it can even stop the rheumatic inflammation. In case the joint is completely ruined, it needs to be replaced by an artificial one.

Test yourself: Are you in danger?
How to discover possible rheumatism in time and how can you help yourself? Take this simple test to find out whether you should go and see your doctor. Read the following questions.
YES NO
  □     □  Have you observed any bulge or swollen parts on the joints of your fingers and hands that remain for several days?
  □     □  Have you felt tired and unable to work for a period of time?
  □     □  Have you slept for months without really relaxing and with all tendons, muscles and joints aching?
  □     □  Do you regularly wake up at night after 3-4 hours of sleep with a deep pain in the small of your  back?
  □     □  Does it fade away when you take a short walk and you can sleep on it?
  □     □  When you stand up after sitting for a while, do you feel a strong pain in the knee joint (or hips,   bones, toes) which fades away after you move for a period of time?
  □     □  Are your fingers so stiff in the morning that you can hardly turn the water tap on?

If you answer YES to at least one of these, you should see your physician and get examined for rheumatism.
More medical information: Tel.: +421 (0)902 961 471 - Dr. Zatkalík, M.D.,  medical@spapiestany.sk

OUR MEDICAL SPA STAYS

Traditional Spa Stay
This spa stay is aimed at the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and the musculoskeletal system, with a recommended stay of 2-3 weeks.
- accommodation with full board, doctor's and health examinations, individual therapeutic programme with up to 24 treatments per week (7 nights)....

Traditional Spa Stay Light
This spa stay is aimed at the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and the musculoskeletal system, with a recommended stay of 2-3 weeks.
- accommodation with half board, doctor's and health examinations, individual therapeutic programme with up to 18 treatments per week (7 nights)....

Osteoporosis Spa Stay
This spa stay is intended for the healing of osteoporosis, with a recommended stay of 3-4 weeks.
accommodation with half board, doctor's and health examinations, individual therapeutic programme with up to 24 treatments per week (7 nights)....

For futher information and reservations, please contact our reservation office:
+00421 33 775 77 33 or reservations@spapiestany.sk

Rheuma leaflet  (PDF)
Rheuma test (PDF)

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