Ask The Expert
January 16, 2013
Palindromic rheumatism is a type of arthritis that causes sudden inflammation in one or several joints. It lasts a few hours or up to a few days. And then it goes away just as quickly as it began.
Its name comes from the term “palindrome” — a word that is spelled the same way forward and backward. Just think of how “kayak” and “mom” are spelled. This emphasizes how the illness begins and ends in a similar way.
Specific tests, such as analysis of joint fluid, help detect palindromic rheumatism. Without them, it may be hard to distinguish it from other joint problems that come and go, such as gout or pseudogout.
Most experts view palindromic rheumatism as a variant of rheumatoid arthritis. But its course is not predictable.
There is treatment for palindromic rheumatism. It includes:
We don’t fully understand the cause, prognosis and best treatment of palindromic rheumatism. Work with your doctor to see what treatment works best for you.