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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Palindromic rheumatism

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What is palindromic rheumatism?

Palindromic rheumatism causes attacks of joint pain and inflammation which keep coming and going. The joints appear normal between attacks. Read more >

What are the symptoms of palindromic rheumatism?

During an attack:

  • affected joints and tendons feel painful and stiff and may be hot, tender and swollen
  • the skin over affected joints may look red or there may be a nodule under the skin
  • you may feel tired, unwell and even feverish.

In between attacks, people with palindromic rheumatism usually feel well.

Read more >

What causes palindromic rheumatism?

Studies into palindromic rheumatism have shown that inflammatory cells move into the lining of the joint, which causes inflammation, although we don’t yet know what triggers this inflammation. Read more >

How is palindromic rheumatism diagnosed?

There's no specific test for palindromic rheumatism. The diagnosis will be made based on your symptoms and, if possible, a physical examination during an attack. This will also help rule out other forms of arthritis. Taking a photo of the affected joints during an attack may be helpful.

Blood tests and x-rays may also be helpful in providing support for the diagnosis and ruling out other conditions.

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What is the outlook for palindromic rheumatism?

Palindromic rheumatism varies a great deal from person to person so it's impossible to predict what to expect. Some people may go on to develop rheumatoid arthritis, but about 10–15% find their symptoms completely disappear. Read more >

What can I do to help myself when I have palindromic rheumatism?

Resting your joints during an attack will help, but you should get moving once severe inflammation has settled down. Talk to your doctor about increasing your medication if you need it. Finding a balance between rest and exercise, and keeping to a healthy diet and weight will also help. Some people also find that taking complementary medicines like fish oil help to ease symptoms. Read more >

Living with palindromic rheumatism

Living with a long-term condition can be difficult. You can help your family and friends to understand your condition by discussing it with them and by showing them this information.

Palindromic rheumatism may make work more difficult, but there are things you can do to make it easier. Talk to your local Jobcentre Plus or Citizens Advice Bureau if you need more advice.

You may not feel like having sex during attacks, but in between them you should be able to have a normal sex life. There's no evidence that palindromic rheumatism affects your chances of having a family, but you should talk to your doctor about your medication before you start trying for a baby.

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Research and new developments for palindromic rheumatism

Some studies into other forms of inflammatory arthritis may lead to better treatments for palindromic rheumatism.

Read more >
For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
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