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A woman holding the back of her neck

There are about 200 different musculoskeletal conditions. Arthritis is a term used by doctors to describe inflammation within a joint, while rheumatism is a more general term that's used to describe aches and pains in or around the joints. Because there are many possible causes of these pains doctors don't often use the term rheumatism and will usually refer to these problems either by a specific diagnosis or according to the part of the body affected. Doctors sometimes use the term 'musculoskeletal conditions' or 'the rheumatic diseases' to refer to a whole range of conditions that affect the joints. 

Browse by letter for your condition


  • Pagets disease

    Paget's disease of bone

    Paget’s disease affects the way your bone develops and renews itself, causing it to become weaker than normal. It can be symptomless. We explain a bit more about what causes it and how it’s diagnosed and treated.

  • Family sitting together on sofa

    Palindromic rheumatism

    Palindromic rheumatism is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It causes attacks of joint pain and inflammation which come and go. We explain what the symptoms are, who gets it and how it's treated.

  • Knee pain in young adults

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome (knee pain in young adults)

    Patellofemoral pain syndrome affects young adults and causes pain and a scratching, grinding sensation in the knee. We explain a bit more about what causes it and how it’s diagnosed and treated.

  • Feet footwear and arthritis

    Plantar fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the heel of your foot. In this section we explain a bit more about the condition and we also suggest where you can get more information about foot pain.

  • A guide for teenagers


    Polyarthritis is a type of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) which affects multiple joints. We give you more information about its symptoms and suggest where you can find out more on JIA.

  • Vasculitis

    Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN)

    Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a serious but rare form of vasculitis, which causes inflammation to medium-sized arteries, particularly those supplying blood to the gut and kidneys.

  • A man helping a woman to put her coat on

    Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

    Polymyagia rheumatica (PMR) is a condition that causes severe stiffness and pain, mainly in your shoulders and hips. We explain the causes, diagnosis and treatments.

  • Polymyositis and dermatomyositis

    Polymyositis and dermatomyositis

    Myositis means inflammation of the muscles. In polymyositis, many muscles are affected. Dermatomyositis has similar symptoms to polymyositis but occurs with a skin rash. We explain the causes, diagnosis and treatments.

  • A woman looking in a mirror

    Psoriatic arthritis

    Psoriatic arthritis causes painful joint inflammation and is often linked with the skin condition psoriasis. We explain the causes, diagnosis and treatments.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.