What causes palindromic rheumatism?
Because palindromic rheumatism is rare, there hasn't been very much research into the condition. However, studies have shown that inflammatory cells move into the lining of the joint, which causes the features of inflammation – redness, swelling and the production of extra fluid – which is very similar to what you see when you get a cut or wound in your skin. It's likely that similar changes affect involved tendons, areas around the affected joints and the skin.
We don't yet know what triggers this inflammation. Although there may be genetic links, this isn't the whole story – it may be that other triggers play a part, such as infection, hormones or trauma.
Unlike many other rheumatic diseases, palindromic rheumatism affects both men and women equally and can occur at any age.