In many cases, the exact cause for a rheumatic disorder is unknown by scientists. However, there are varying factors that can play a role in the development of a specific rheumatic disease type, such as genetics, wear and tear of joints, repetitive stress and infections, as noted by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Rheumatism is a term that encompasses different types of rheumatic disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus and infectious arthritis.
There are over 100 different types of rheumatic conditions, as stated by WebMD. A common rheumatic condition is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although the specific cause of RA is unknown, researchers believe that genetics and environment can be influencing factors that lead to this autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder in which the immune system attacks healthy joints, causing symptoms that include joint pain, inflammation and stiffness.
Some other types of rheumatic diseases that are caused by problems with the autoimmune system are lupus and scleroderma. The cause of osteoarthritis is the deterioration or wearing down of cartilage that cushions joints.
In some cases, the cause of a rheumatic disease can be related to infections caused by bacteria or viruses. Three different types of arthritic conditions caused by infections are infectious, parvovirus and gonococcal arthritis, notes Everyday Health. Additionally, some other rheumatic disorders are reactive arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and psoriatic arthritis. Each of these arthritic conditions can have particular causes or risk factors associated with them.