Looking for rheumatic disease types, treatments, and associated rheumatology definitions? From abatacept to WOMAC, learn about common terms related to arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Looking for information about MACRA? See MACRA terms and definitions.


Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

Inflammatory rheumatic disease that causes muscle pain, joint stiffness, and limited range of motion usually in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, and hips. It may occur along with giant cell arteritis in some people. Usually occurs in older people. Symptoms may appear and worsen within two weeks. Patients with PMR may also have symptoms like mild fever, nausea, fatigue, or loss of appetite. Glucocorticoids are used to treat PMR inflammation, and physical therapy may also help improve range of motion.

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Positron emission tomography

Creation of tomographic images revealing certain biochemical properties of tissue by computer analysis of positrons emitted when radioactively tagged substances are incorporated into the tissue.

Primary care

Care of a patient by a member of the healthcare system who has initial contact with the patient.

Prognostic factors

A symptom on which a prognosis is based, or one indicative of the likely outcome.


Sense or perception, usually at a subconscious level, of the movements and position of the body and especially its limbs, independent of vision.


Glycoaminoflycans bound to protein chains in covalent complexes; these occur in the extracellular matrix of connective tissue.


Identification and study of the proteins of a cell, tissue, or organism to determine their three-dimensional structure and to map their interactive networks to discover their function and the structure of drugs with the potential to interact in a therapeutic way with disease-associated proteins.


Common multifactorial inherited condition characterized by the eruption of circumscribed, discrete and confluent, reddish silvery-scaled maculopapules. Lesions occur predominantly on the elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA)

Concurrence of psoriasis and polyarthritis, resembling rheumatoid arthritis but thought to be a specific disease entity, seronegative for rheumatoid factor and often involving the digits.

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Discipline pertaining to psychological and mental testing, and to any quantitative analysis of an individual’s psychological traits or attitudes or mental processes.

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