Rheumatism treatment

Discover natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis

The term rheumatism is familiar to almost everyone. But do you also know which different types of rheumatism there are, what the causes of rheumatic diseases are, or how you can recognise symptoms early on? Read on and also find out what professional rheumatism treatment can do for you.

Definition - What is rheumatism?

The term rheumatism describes a series of painful and function-impairing diseases of the musculoskeletal system. These include disorders of joints, muscles, cartilage, bones, ligaments and tendons, as well as of organs or the nervous system.

The term rheumatism refers to a "pulling pain". Consequently, most rheumatic diseases are accompanied by pain and functional limitations. But fatigue, tingling, or numbness in the extremities or lack of concentration can also be added as symptoms.

Rheumatic diseases: What types of rheumatic diseases are there?

The list of rheumatic diseases or types of rheumatism seems almost endless. However, it can be said that there are four to five categories in which all types of rheumatism can be classified.

Inflammatory rheumatic diseases

These include rheumatoid arthritis, the most common inflammatory disease of the joints, and ankylosing spondylitis, which mainly affects the spine and pelvis. Psoriatic arthritis also belongs to this group. In most cases, the person affected has an autoimmune problem, which is why there is no cure.



rheuma patient
Knie, Rheuma

Degenerative rheumatic diseases

The most common diseases of this type are arthroses. In the case of arthrosis, for example, the cartilage in knees, hips, fingers or toes can be damaged. Even the joints of the spine can be affected. Degenerative rheumatic diseases, however, are usually problems caused by wear and tear and age.

Metabolic disorders

This group includes metabolic and hormonal joint diseases, such as diabetes, gout and many others that cause rheumatic complaints. Hyperthyroidism can also be associated with rheumatic complaints.

Krankengymnastik bei Rheuma

Rheumatic pain diseases

This category includes, for example, fibromyalgia (also known as "soft tissue rheumatism" or fibre-muscle pain), a chronic and painful disease of the joint and locomotor system. This disease usually affects people aged between 40 and 60 years. They complain about pain that usually lasts for months in several parts of the body. However, damage to muscles, joints, or organs is not typical. This group of rheumatic diseases also includes irritation of the tendon attachments (like tennis elbow) or bursitis.

Chronic bone diseases

This section includes osteopathies such as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is an age-related illness that makes the bones thinner, more porous and therefore more susceptible to injury over the years.

Rheuma Handgelenk

Preventing rheumatic diseases

Unfortunately, rheumatic diseases cannot be cured, but they can be contained with certain therapies and medicines, which improve the symptoms and sometimes even bring them to a halt. The aim is to keep the patient as pain-free as possible, to prevent consequential damage and thus to improve the quality of life in the long term.

Pain-relieving measures can alleviate the movement restrictions and physiotherapy as well as outpatient therapies can also provide help. The decisive factor here is the care provided by a qualified doctor with many years of experience in rheumatology and the will of the patient.



Krankengymnastik bei Rheuma

The right diet for rheumatism

As with all health problems, rheumatism can be significantly improved with the right diet. As various foods, such as meat and sausage, also have an influence on the inflammatory process in rheumatism, they should be avoided if possible. Thus, attention should be paid to a balanced and healthy diet. In short this means:

  • Avoid meat. Meat is suspected of exacerbating inflammation in the body.
  • Make sure you eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Eat an excess of bases. You can find more information on this on our alkaline fasting page.
  • Integrate Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet (e.g. in salmon, mackerel, linseed, linseed oil, rapeseed oil, walnuts, ...)



 Ernährung bei Rheuma

Rheumatism treatments: What helps with rheumatism?

The main aim of a therapy for rheumatic diseases is to ensure the person's mobility and thus relieve pain.

Therapies are therefore particularly focusing on thermal healing water, radon, and sulphur, which use heat and other processes to relax the muscles, promote blood circulation and thus have a revitalising effect. The external and internal effects of the healing substances are achieved by drinking or bathing therapies. Besides mental and physical relaxation and the alleviation of inflammation, the body's self-healing powers are activated. Thermal water therapies also have a positive and relaxing influence on the mental well-being.

Mud baths and therapeutic mud packs are also suitable for promoting blood circulation due to their long-lasting warming effect and have a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect.

Regular physiotherapy, sports, and exercise therapy keeps the joints flexible and builds up muscles. In rheumatism therapy, movement is generally an indispensable factor, as it keeps muscles and joints flexible and improves their function. Even if the joints are painful - or just then - they should be kept in motion so that the condition does not get any worse.

Many patients also benefit from outpatient physical therapies that use electricity or heat therapy.

After a surgery due to rheumatic diseases, a therapy can also act as a form of aftercare.



Fasten bei Rheuma

Fasting therapy for rheumatism

Fasting is an alternative treatment for rheumatism. Regular fasting can help with a surprising number of health problems, ranging from allergies to skin diseases and rheumatism. Although fasting alone cannot replace professional medical therapy, for many patients it is a great accompanying measure that comes with many health benefits. As therapeutic fasting counteracts all (chronic) inflammations in the body, it can be particularly helpful in the case of inflammatory rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Talk to your doctor and ask him whether a fasting therapy is suitable for your situation. Find out more on our fasting therapy page.

Kneipp therapy for rheumatism

A Kneipp therapy can also have a positive effect on the success of treatment for rheumatic complaints. Although Kneipp water treatments do not help against rheumatism per se, they do help against the associated rheumatic pain, which affects the majority of rheumatic patients. A Kneipp therapy can thus contribute to a significant reduction in the amount of medication taken, for example. A warm arm or foot bath or a hay flower bath are popular water treatments for treating rheumatism. Alternating showers, alternating arm or foot baths or water treading can also relieve your symptoms.



Kneipp Kuren gegen Rheuma


Kurorte am Meer

Which are the most beautiful rheumatism spas?

Spas by the sea have proven to be an effective treatment method for rheumatic diseases. Warm baths with sea water, mud, and mud packs and the relaxing atmosphere relieve pain and relax the limbs. It is therefore not surprising that many rheumatism therapy clinics are located by the sea, for example on the North Sea or the German and Polish Baltic Sea. There are also great clinics around the Mediterranean with a focus on rheumatism.

Our best rheumatism health clinics and spa hotels

Excellent spa clinics for rheumatology

FAQ - All about rheumatism

Causes of rheumatism - Where does the disease come from?

The causes of rheumatism are as varied as the forms of the disease. That is why this question cannot be answered in general. However, the most widespread are inflammatory rheumatic diseases, which can be traced back to a disturbance in the immune system.

Does rheumatism only affect older people?

The disease by no means only affects older people, but people in every age group. In Germany, for example, around 20,000 children and young people under the age of 16 are affected.

What symptoms indicate rheumatism?

  • Painful and stiff joints in the morning (for at least half an hour)
  • Sensitive, warm or swollen joints
  • Joint pain even at rest (e.g. at night)
  • Rheumatic nodules
  • Great restrictions on movement
  • A general feeling of illness (exhaustion, night sweats, tiredness)

Why is rheumatism not curable?

Today rheumatism is not curable despite the constant medical progress. Thanks to modern therapies, however, the pain can be effectively relieved and the destruction of the joints can at least be stopped. Generally speaking, the earlier the person starts suffering from rheumatism, the better the chances of preventing permanent damage.

How does a rheumatism therapy work?

In the medical treatment of rheumatic diseases, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy (with heat, cold, and electricity) and exercise therapy have proven to be the most successful. If you decide for a professional rheumatism treatment, you can probably expect a combination of these different fields of treatment. However, you can also find out how the individual treatments are carried out on our respective hotel pages, where the treatments of the therapy are listed.

Which complaints can a rheumatism treatment sooth?

A therapy can help with all rheumatic complaints. In the case of the inflammatory forms of rheumatism, for example, diagnoses are often made quite late, when irreversible damage has already occurred. A course of treatment then helps to prevent the condition from getting worse. The treatment preserves the function of the joints or the entire musculoskeletal system, and the patient is relieved by the pain-relieving measures.

What are the benefits of a rehab for rheumatism?

Staying in a rehabilitation centre helps patients to cope better with their everyday or professional life with the disease. In addition to beneficial and strengthening treatments, lectures on the subject are also a central part of a rehab. In this way, the patient learns everything important about the illness and how a pain-free life is possible again. In addition, a rehab can help patients with severe forms of rheumatism to reintegrate into social life.

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