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Conditions Treated

The following conditions are some of the most common conditions treated by specialists in this area. These specialists offer expert care for many other related medical problems. If you need care for a condition not listed here, please call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) to find a doctor who can help you.

  • Autoimmune Disorders

    Autoimmune disorders are when a person’s immune system attacks healthy tissue and destroys it. Sometimes referred to as autoimmune diseases, these disorders include lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The two types of back pain are acute, which typically occurs after a fall, injury or heavy lifting, and chronic, which persists for three months or longer.
  • Behçet's disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder causing canker sores in the mouth or genitals, eye inflammation and arthritis. Behcet’s disease is one of many forms of vasculitis. With vasculitis, blood vessels become inflamed, cutting off blood supply and potentially causing serious consequences.
  • In Buerger’s disease (BGD), or thromboangiitis obliterans, small blood vessels in the hands and feet become inflamed and narrowed. When this happens, blood clots can completely block the blood vessels, leading to serious consequences, like gangrene.
  • Bursitis is when a bursa — a small, fluid-filled sac with a jelly-like feel that helps protect bones — becomes swollen or irritated.
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Vasculitis

    Central nervous system (CNS) vasculitis, also known as primary angiitis of the central nervous system, is vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) that affects only the brain or spinal cord.
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome

    Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS) is a form of vasculitis, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels. CSS is an autoimmune condition that affects the small blood vessels. CSS can cause asthma and increased eosinophils (a type of white blood cell). Churg-Strauss syndrome is also known as allergic granulomatosis.
  • Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis

    Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis is a form of vasculitis in which abnormal proteins in the blood (known as cryoglobulins) become thick or gel-like in cold temperatures. When this happens, they can block blood vessels throughout the body. This may lead to complications ranging from skin rashes to kidney failure.
  • Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes muscle pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, fatigue and "tender points” that hurt when even a little pressure is applied.
  • Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a form of vasculitis that causes inflammation of major arteries in the head, neck and arms. Left untreated, GCA leads to serious complications, including loss of vision and stroke.
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a rare form of vasculitis that restricts blood flow. Also called Wegener’s granulomatosis, GPA produces nodules of inflamed tissue around blood vessels. Sometimes, sores develop in the respiratory tract or the kidneys, which can have serious consequences.
  • Henoch-Schönlein Purpura (HSP)

    Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a type of vasculitis that causes inflammation of blood vessels in the skin, joints, intestines and kidneys. The main symptom is a purplish rash, typically on the lower legs and buttocks. Henoch-Schönlein purpura also often causes abdominal pain and aching joints, and, in some people, kidney problems.
  • Hypersensitivity Vasculitis

    Hypersensitivity vasculitis (HSV) is a type of vasculitis in which the blood vessels of the skin become inflamed and damaged. This inflammation occurs in response to a drug, infection or foreign substance. In HSV, the joints, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, lungs, heart or central nervous system can also be affected.
  • Kawasaki disease (also called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome) is a rare childhood disease. In this form of vasculitis, any type of blood vessels can become inflamed. If Kawasaki disease (KD) affects the coronary arteries that carry blood to the heart, serious heart problems may develop.
  • Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic problems for people of all ages. Knee pain is most often caused by overuse injuries such as tendonitis, bursitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome (“runner’s knee”) that produce inflammation (pain and swelling).
  • Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) is a chronic autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks healthy cells, causing widespread inflammation in any part of the body.
  • Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder affecting the connective tissue that supports the body and plays a role in how it grows and develops.
  • Microscopic Polyangiitis

    Microscopic polyangiitis is a type of vasculitis, or blood vessel inflammation, that affects the small blood vessels in the kidneys, lungs, nerves, skin and joints. Symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss, among others. In many cases, medications can improve or eliminate these symptoms.
  • With osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, the cartilage that cushions joints loses its elasticity and wears away in places. This makes the bones rub together, causing pain, stiffness and swelling. In addition to wear and tear, research by rheumatologists at Rush and other centers suggests that inflammation may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta is an inherited defect in the body’s production of collagen. Collagen is a substance found in ligaments, tendons, skin, cartilage, bones and blood vessels. When the body does not produce it normally, broken bones, brittle teeth, bone loss and pain can result.
  • Osteopenia is lower than normal bone mineral density, which increases the risk for broken bones. Bones thin as people age, and osteopenia can lead to osteoporosis.
  • With osteoporosis, deterioration of bone tissue reduces bone strength, making bones fragile. Osteoporosis makes the wrist, hip, spine and other parts of the skeleton vulnerable to fractures. Falls in people with osteoporosis can lead to serious health consequences.  
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa

    Polyarteritis nodosa (also called panarteritis nodosa and periarteritis nodosa) occurs when malfunctioning immune cells damage arteries. This damage can harm other parts of the body, including the skin, heart, kidneys and the nervous system.
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica

    Polymyalgia rheumatica is a condition that causes aches and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and hips. It sometimes develops in people with giant cell arteritis.
  • Raynaud's Disease

    Raynaud's disease is a rare disorder that causes blood vessels to narrow in response to cold or stress. Raynaud's disease — sometimes referred to as Raynaud's phenomenon or Raynaud's syndrome — typically involves blocked blood flow to fingers and toes. It may also affect the nose, ears and lips.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in joints. As it progresses, RA can cause joint deformity and even lead to disability.
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain

    Sacroiliac joint pain, also known as SI joint pain, is pain caused by damage to the sacroiliac joint, which connects the hip to the spine. It is a common cause of lower back pain.
  • Sarcoidosis is a disease that leads to inflammation in the lymph nodes and/or organs — most commonly the lungs, liver and skin.
  • Takayasu Disease

    Takayasu disease, also called Takayasu arteritis, is inflammation of the aorta — the artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body — and its major branches. It is thought to be an autoimmune condition, but the cause is unknown.
  • Tendonitis is swelling and irritation of a tendon, the sinewy structure that connects muscle to bone. It is caused by injury or overuse.
  • Vasculitis (also called angiitis or arteritis) is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system attacks the blood vessels by mistake, creating inflammation. Blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, cutting off blood supply, potentially causing serious consequences.